World Championships A Rare Achievement For Nilsen & Grove

Grove No-Heights In Competition Friday

LONDON, ENGLAND —  Though we are a year removed from the Olympics, the opportunity for USD pole vaulters Chris Nilsen and Emily Grove to compete in the IAAF World Championships Is about as close as they could get to an Olympic experience.

Grove failed to clear her first height of 13 feet and nine inches during the women’s competition in London today.  Though it’s a disappointing end for the former Coyote, making the World Championships is a rare accomplishment.  Retiring USD track coach Dave Gottsleben says that with the world championships being every four years, athletes face many of the same pressures they’d get at the Olympics.

Nilsen will compete beginning at 4:45 AM on Sunday.

Click on the video viewer for more on this story!  USD’s complete release on Grove’s performance is below.


LONDON, England–South Dakota recent alumna Emily Grove recorded no height in the women’s pole vault at the 2017 IAAF World Track and Field Championships on Friday at London Stadium in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.


Grove missed on her three attempts at 13 feet, 9 ¼ inches. A senior during the 2017 collegiate season, Grove qualified to represent Team USA at the World Championships with a third-place finish at the U.S. Championships in June. She tied her personal best height of 15-1 at the meet.


A native of Pontiac, Ill., Grove was a six-time All-American for the Coyotes and became the ninth collegiate woman to break the 15-foot barrier during her senior season. She was named the 2017 Summit League Outdoor Field Athlete of the Year and garnered CoSIDA Academic All-America honors.


USD freshman Chris Nilsen also qualified for the IAAF World Championships. He vaults for Team USA in the men’s pole vault qualifying round slated for 4:40 a.m. CST on Sunday, Aug. 6.

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