SIOUX FALLS, S.D.—A day after taking home the Summit League Outdoor Field Athlete of the Year, Coyote junior Chris Nilsen has been named the Summit League's Athlete of the Month for May/June.
Nilsen has accumulated a league record 10 monthly honors from the Summit in his first three years. The next most accumulated by a student-athlete, male or female, is six.
The championship months of May and June included both NCAA Championship and Summit League Championship titles in the pole vault for Nilsen. He set meet records at both events, vaulting 19 feet, 6 ¼ inches, to set a lifetime best at the NCAA meet. Nilsen ranks No. 3 in NCAA history and No. 25 in world history with the height.
Nilsen, a native of Kansas City, Missouri, has five jumps over the Olympic standard of 19-0 ¼ this year. He's surpassed the standard 11 times in his career. Nilsen ranks No. 1 in the United States and No. 2 in the world this spring.
Also included in his monthly performances were a win at the Howard Wood Dakota Relays (18-10 ¼) and qualifying for the national meet at the NCAA West Preliminary. He went undefeated during the outdoor season with nine meet victories.
Up next for Nilsen is the U.S. Championships held July 25-28 in Des Moines, Iowa, at Drake Stadium. He will compete amongst the nation's best amateurs and professionals for a chance to represent America at the 2019 IAAF World Championships. The top-three finishers make Team USA for the meet held in Doha, Qatar, at the end of September.