Despite a late arrival into the sport, pole vaulter Chris Nilsen has won major championships at every level of his career. National records at Park Hill High School. More of the same at South Dakota.
And now he’s won gold representing the United States.
Nilsen won the pole vault gold medal Saturday at the Pan American Games in Lima, Peru.
Nilsen, who attends South Dakota, cleared the bar on his third attempt at 18 feet, 10 3/4 inches, good for a narrow victory against Brazil’s Augusto Dutra.
“Honored and grateful to bring home my first international medal and having it be a win was even better!!” Nilsen posted on his social media accounts.
Nilsen is a three-time NCAA champion and a 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics hopeful.