There’s a new pole vault record holder, and he has all the signs of becoming a long-running star in the sport.
As reported by Kansas City Fox affiliate WDAF, Park Hill senior Chris Nilsen set an American prep record by clearing 18 feet 4-3/4 inches at the Missouri Class 5 Sec 4 meet at crosstown Staley High on Saturday. By definition, the record-setting vault was enough to earn Nilsen the Class 5 title. It was also within an inch of qualifying for the U.S. Olympic Trials via the event standard of 5.65 meters.
You can see video of Nilsen’s record-setting vault above.
Nilsen, who is also a standout high jumper, is set to compete in the vault for South Dakota beginning in the 2016-17 school year. That may be enough to ensure he continues developing the skills that have paved his way to success at Park Hill, even if he wasn’t an immediate success, as WDAF previously chronicled:
… He admits pole vaulting didn’t always come easily.
“I kind of planted the pole went up in the air a little bit and I said wait no and I started going backward and I landed on my butt,” Nilsen said of his first pole vaulting attempt as a freshman.