LONG BEACH, Calif. — South Dakota junior Chris Nilsen vaulted a world-leading 19 feet, 1 inch, Saturday at the 25th Beach Invitational at Jack Rose Track.
While Nilsen entered Saturday’s meet holding the NCAA’s best height this season. He extended that lead with his new season best of 5.82 meters, jumping two centimeters (or ¾ inch) higher. The mark moves him to the top of the IAAF’s world leaders list this spring.
Nilsen remains the only collegian to have cleared 19 feet this spring. This marks the eighth time in his career over 19 feet and the third-best mark in his career.
A native of Kansas City, Missouri, Nilsen is becoming one of the most consistent vaulters in NCAA history. He joins Lawrence Johnsen as the only two vaulters to have three jumps of 19-1 or higher in their collegiate career. Nilsen’s personal best of 19-2 ¾ from last spring ranks him as the NCAA’s fourth-best performer outdoors. He has four of the top-14 marks all-time in NCAA outdoor history.
Junior teammate Ethan Bray finished seventh in the men’s pole vault competition with a jump of 17-5 ½.
Also on Saturday, junior Zack Anderson (Parker) tied his own school record from earlier this spring with a high jump clearance of 7-2 ½. Anderson is tied for 26th in the world with the height. Freshman Jack Durst placed eighth in the competition with a jump of 6-11, while sophomore Travis Larson and senior Deshonn Brown tied for 17th.
Junior Helen Falda placed fifth in the women’s pole vault with a jump of 14-1 ¾. Falda went head-to-head with three of the NCAA’s top-five in the competition, including NCAA record-holder Olivia Gruver of Washington. Senior Kimmy Peterson took eighth with a vault of 13-3 ¾ while freshman Deidra Marrison finished 10th.
A day after breaking the 2:10 barrier in the 800 meters for the first time, sophomore Macy Heinz clocked exactly 2:10.00 for the race. She finished in fifth place with the time.
Junior Britny Kerr leaped 40-8 ¼ to take fifth in the triple jump. The mark is a ½ inch off her personal best from last spring. Kerr also finished 19th in the 100-meter hurdles in 14.21 seconds.
The women’s 4x100-meter relay with legs from junior Samara Spencer, senior Karina Dufoe, sophomore Danielle Thompson and junior Tasheka Gordon, placed fifth with a clocking of 46.80 seconds.
Sophomore Aleksi Rosler finished 10th in the 400 meters with a time of 48.28 seconds.
Senior Eldon Warner clocked 1:52.77 for 16th place in the men’s 800 meters.
South Dakota hosts the USD Twilight on Tuesday at the Lillibridge Track Complex in Vermillion. Field events are scheduled to begin at 3 p.m. with running events to begin at 5 p.m.
T&F: Ashland Open
ASHLAND, Ohio — South Dakota sophomore Callie Henrich posted a pair of runner-up finishes at the Ashland Open on Saturday.
Henrich finished runner-up in both the invitational shot put and the invitational discus. She launched the shot put 46 feet, 8 ¾ inches, and send the discus 141-11. Also placing in the invitational discus, junior Emilee Shostrom took fourth and senior Molly Schiermeyer was fifth.
Senior Ethan Fenchel placed fifth in the invitational section of the discus, sending the disc 167-8.
Following up on yesterday’s hammer throw performance, senior Lara Boman took fifth in the open shot put competition with a throw of 41-1 ½.
On Friday, USD throws coach A.G. Kruger returned to his former institution, Ashland University, with his crew of Coyote hammer throwers to compete at the Ashland Alumni Open.
Senior Lara Boman finished runner-up in the invitational section of the women’s hammer with her best throw of 194-4. Ashland’s MacKenzie Leigh threw a personal best 199-3 to win the section in her home ring.
In the open section of the hammer throw, junior Emilee Shostrom took the gold with her best throw of 171-11.
Sophomore Matt Slagus finished runner-up in the men’s open hammer throw, launching it 182-8. Senior Derrick Sheppard placed just behind him with a throw of 178-0.
Prior to arriving in Vermillion, Kruger spent 13 years training, coaching and teaching at Ashland alongside AU’s head coach Jud Logan. The three-time Olympian stepped back into the ring for the day, winning the invitational hammer in 228-10.
Mt. SAC Relays
TORRANCE, Calif.—South Dakota sophomore Macy Heinz became the fourth Coyote woman to break 2:10 in the 800 meters on Friday at the Mt. SAC Relays.
Heinz crossed the finish line in 2 minutes, 9.76 seconds, for a new personal best in the event. She joins the likes of alumna Emma Erickson, Katie Wetzstein and Jennifer Munyan to cruise past the mark. Heinz placed fifth overall in the collegiate section of the race.
Senior Madeline Huglen finished just a second off her personal best in the invitational section of the steeplechase Friday night. She crossed the finish line in 10:30.89. Sophomore teammate Jonna Bart finished shortly behind in her in 10:38.83.
On the men’s side, seniors Eldon Warner and Jacob Simmons raced in the 1,500 meters. Warner clocked 3:53.46 to finish 12th in the invitational section, while Simmons took fourth in the collegiate section with a time of 3:58.32.
Junior Kianna Stewart placed 10th in the collegiate “A” section of the women’s 5,000 meters with a time of 17:33.57. She had a personal best yesterday in the collegiate section of the steeplechase.
CRETE, Neb. — A pair of local athletes competing for Wayne State earned high finishes at the Doane Invitational track and field meet on Saturday.
Cade Kalkowski, a junior from Niobrara, Nebraska, finished fourth in the hammer throw with a toss of 180-4. Noah Lilly, a freshman from Creighton, Nebraska, placed fifth in the javelin with a toss of 156-6.
Wayne State will compete in the Mount Marty Classic on Wednesday.