RENO, Nev.—South Dakota senior Chris Nilsen placed third in the elite vault competition and the Coyotes swept the top-four spots in the women's collegiate competition this weekend at the National Pole Vault Summit in Reno.

Nilsen placed third in the elite competition with a vault of 18 feet, 8 ¼ inches. The height ties him for the NCAA lead this season. 2019 graduates Jacob Wooten of Texas A&M and Matt Ludwig of Akron, now competing as professionals, placed first and second in the competition after clearing the next height of 19-0 ¼.

In the collegiate ranks, the Coyote women swept the top-four spots in the field. Leading the pack was true freshman Gen Hirata from Fredericksburg, Virginia, to win her first collegiate meet. Hirata's winning height of 13-5 ¼ lands her on the Coyotes' top-10 list in ninth. Sophomore Landon Kemp finished runner-up in the competition by clearing the same height. The 13-5 ¼ bar is an indoor best for Kemp. The duo ties for 12th in the NCAA with the height this season.

Redshirt-junior Makiah Hunt, who missed the 2019 season to injury, placed third in the Coyote pack with a jump of 12-11 ½. Sophomore Deidra Marrison took fourth with a clearance of 12-11 ½ as well. Sophomore Josephina Wright took seventh in 11-9 ¾.

On the men's side, senior Nick Johnson placed third in the collegiate competition with a clearance of 16-6 ¾. Freshman Marshall Faurot made his collegiate pole vault debut, after competing in the heptathlon at the SDSU Holiday Open in December. Faurot took sixth on Saturday with a vault of 15-5.

South Dakota track and field resumes action on Saturday, January 25, at the Jim Emmerich Alumni Invitational in Brookings, South Dakota.


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