USD Pole Vaulters Heading to NCAA Meet

Published: Jun. 1, 2018 at 12:25 AM CDT
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Chris Nilsen goes into the national meet with the top pole vault in the country this season. He's gone over 19-feet five different times The 2017 NCAA Indoor National Champion is the favorite to win the title.

"I didn't really know how this year was going to go cause there was some other things going on in my life, like I got married, had a baby, and I was just kind of focusing on those things,and i was like okay, let's kind of shift focus from pole vault to family for a little bit there, and regardless of shifting of focus it turned into a really great year." says Nilsen.

"He's probably got some pressure on him. for one, hes got a target on his back, he's got the leading marks, but secondly i think they know if he's clicking he's going to be tough to beat." says USD Pole Vault Coach Derek Miles.

On the women's side, Helen Falda also qualified and has gone over 14 feet this season. She transfered from University of Texas-Arlington and will be going to nationals for a second straight year.

"I'm going to be excited, because as I said, at regionals I have something to lose, but at nationals it's the final stop you don't have anything to lose, you just need to go hard and compete aggressive." says Falda.

Nilsen, Falda, along with senior Jake David are are all heading to Eugene These are the latest in a long list of pole vaulters going to nationals from USD. That's what you have when your vault coach is an Olympic bronze medalist in and multiple time Olympian in Derek Miles.

"It just kind of shows that all the training and all the hard work that Derek puts us through really sets us up for success." says Nilsen.

"Well I think we're more than a pole vault program, what we are is a collection of people who are pretty committed and pretty fired up, excited about the sport want to find out how good they can be." says Miles.