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article imageUniversity of South Dakota pole vaulter, NCAA Champion opens up Special

By Markos Papadatos     Jun 11, 2018 in Sports
South Dakota pole vaulter and NCAA champion Chris Nilsen has the fourth best performance this year (5.86 meters) in the men's outdoor pole vault. Nilsen chatted with Digital Journal about his career in the sport.
Nilsen is the 2018 National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) pole vault champion. On setting a new personal best at 5.86 meters, Nilsen said, "That felt pretty good, just to get over that bar. I tried to jump 19 feet for a while now, so when I jumped 5.86 meters, it felt really good to reach that goal."
Nilsen is drawn to pole vault due to the adrenaline rush that he gets from the fall once he clears the bar. "You feel like you are suspended in the air for a little bit," he explained.
He attends the University of South Dakota (USD), and he revealed that he will continue his athletic career there for the next two years. "I will keep pole vaulting for as long as I can afterwards," he said, prior to noting that he would consider coaching in the future. "I am majoring in athletic administration, so if I could get a coaching job somewhere in the future, that would be great."
Speaking of USD, one of his proudest moments included winning a couple of national championships for USD, and "getting USD's name out there."
Digital transformation of pole vault
On the impact of technology on pole vault and athletics, Nilsen said, "I feel that it has made a lot of things easier, especially when you have somebody who studies the biomechanics and the technique. My coach, Derek, uses an iPad to record all of us, so he can look back at our jumps later, so with all that combined, technology makes coaching a lot easier, and it makes practice sessions more efficient."
For aspiring pole vaulters, Nilsen said, "Keep at it. It's a very time-consuming event, and it takes time to get better at it. Just listen to your coach, and eventually, you will get better."
In his spare time, Nilsen enjoys spending it with his family. "I have a wife and a child and I spend time with them," he said.
He defined the word success as "being your best self on and off the sports field."
To learn more about pole vaulter Chris Nilsen, check out his profile on the University of South Dakota Coyotes page, and follow him on Twitter.
More about pole vaulter, South Dakota, Chris Nilsen, University, NCAA
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