USD Alum Chris Nilsen Headed To Paris

EUGENE, OR ( —South Dakota alumnus Chris Nilsen ’20 will represent Team USA in the men’s pole vault at the 2024 Paris Olympics.

Nilsen was one of three men to clear 19-3 (5.87m) in the competition and secure his ticket to Paris. Joining Nilsen in Paris to represent the United States in the men’s pole vault are Sam Kendricks and Jacob Wooten. Kendricks set a meet record on Sunday with a clearance of 19-5 (5.92m), ending Nilsen’s streak of three-straight U.S. outdoor titles. Nilsen and Wooten tied for second.

Nilsen is a four-time medalist on the world stage. His trophy case includes a silver from the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, a bronze from the 2022 World Indoor Championships, a silver from the 2022 World Championships and a bronze from the 2023 World Championships. He owns a personal best of 19-10 ¼ (6.05m) from the 2022 season.

Hailing from Kansas City, Missouri, Nilsen was a three-time NCAA Champion for the Coyotes. He was a seven-time All-American, taking at least bronze at each NCAA Championship held during his collegiate career. He owns South Dakota’s indoor and outdoor pole vault records.