NEW ORLEANS—South Dakota junior pole vaulter Chris Nilsen has been named to The Bowerman Pre-NCAA Outdoor Championships Watch List as announced by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) on Monday. Semifinalists for The Bowerman will be announced later in June.


The Bowerman, dubbed the Heisman of collegiate track and field, is presented annually to the most outstanding male and female athlete in the nation. The award debuted in 2009 and winners are announced at a ceremony in December in conjunction with the USTFCCCA annual convention.


Nilsen, a five-time All-American from Kansas City, Missouri, enters the NCAA Championships this week with the second-best mark in the field. He vaulted a season-best 19 feet, 2 ¼ inches, to win the Drake Relays back in April. Nilsen has surpassed 19 feet four times this spring and 10 times in his career.


The defending champion in the pole vault, Nilsen broke a 22-year-old NCAA Championships meet record in 2018 with a vault of 19-1 ½. To defend his title, Nilsen will have to duel LSU's freshman phenom Mondo Duplantis, who set the NCAA's all-time record this spring with a jump of 19-8 ¼.


The men's pole vault competition at the NCAA Championships is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Wednesday in Austin, Texas.


The Bowerman Men's Watch List: 2019 Pre-NCAA Championships


Name, School, Year, Events

Devin Dixon, Texas A&M, Jr., Mid-Distance

Mondo Duplantis, LSU, Fr., Pole Vault

Quincy Hall, South Carolina, Jr., Sprints/Hurdles

Grant Holloway, Florida, Jr., Sprints/Hurdles/Jumps

Morgan McDonald, Wisconsin, RS-Sr., Distance

Chris Nilsen, South Dakota, Jr., Pole Vault

Divine Oduduru, Texas Tech, Jr., Sprints

Payton Otterdahl, North Dakota State, Sr., Throws

Anderson Peters, Mississippi State, RS-So., Throws

Daniel Roberts, Kentucky, Jr., Sprints/Hurdles


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