Frerichs is joined on Team USA by Emma Coburn. Coburn won the 2017 World Championship in London, with Frerichs right behind her as the pair went 1-2 in the event dominated by the East Africans. It was one of the greatest feats and moments in women's USA track and field history and American distance running history. Coburn also has a World silver medal and Olympic bronze. BYU recent grad Courtney Wayment rounds out the USA squad. She took down Frerichs NCAA record last month.
Frerichs is married to former UMKC teammate and former Rock Bridge runner Griffin Humphreys, a sub 2:25 marathoner and coach at Portland State University.
While it wasn't until college before Courtney Frerichs showed she was national-class talent, Chris Nilsen has been one of the world's best, in his age group since his junior year in high school.
Nilsen trained with Southern Illinois native, former Southeast Missouri State University football and track athlete, longtime Kansas City area high school and former University of Kansas and Nebraska coach Rick Attig, who had left Nebraska to return to the Kansas City area to coach at the high school level in Kansas.
Nilsen was a 2-time state champion in the pole vault for Park Hill and captured national titles in the summer of his senior year. His senior at the sectional meet, Nilsen broke the U.S. High School record, clearing 18.4-25''/5.60m. That summer of 2016, Nilsen won the U.S. Junior title, competed at the U.S. Olympic Trials, and while competing with an injury, placed 7th at the World Junior/Under-20 Championships in Poland.
Nilsen captured the NCAA Division I title in his first attempt at the 2017 indoor meet. He would win 3 of the 6 possible NCAA titles while missing the chance at two more because of the Coronavirus Pandemic. Nilsen also set the U.S. Under-20 record, while competing for South Dakota and coach Derek Miles.
Nilsen after winning his 1st state title in 2015, clearing 17-0.25''
Nilsen placed 3rd at the 2017 U.S. senior championships to qualify for the senior world championships as a college freshman, where he just missed making the final in London. Nilsen competed internationally in the Fall of 2020 and eventually signed with Nike.
Nilsen has soared ever since, breaking the magical 6-meter(19-8.25'') mark twice. In Tokyo last August, Nilsen won the Olympic silver medal, finishing behind world record holder, friend, and rival Mondo Duplantis. Nilsen added a bronzed medal to his resume at the 2022 World Indoor Championships in Belgrade, Serbia in March.
Nilsen after winning his 3rd NCAA title, setting PR & MR & beating Mondo-@ 2019 NCAAs
Nilsen's indoor Personal Record (PR) of 6.05m/19-10.25'' from early March gave him the American record, surpassing Jeff Hartwig and Sam Kendricks. The mark also makes Nilsen the 5th best performer in world history indoors. Nilsen's 6.00m outdoor jump from early May puts him in a tie for 16th on the outdoor World All-Time list and ties him for 5th in U.S. history.
Louisiana born and raised (Armand) Mondo Duplantis, who represents his mother's native country of Sweden, is the favorite. Duplantis owns the world record of 6.20m/20-4.25'', set indoors this year and just improved his outdoors best of 6.16m/20-2.5'' recently.
Nilsen still trains with coach Derek Miles at the University of South Dakota. Miles placed 4th at the 2008 Olympics in the pole vault, but was upgraded to 3rd and was given a bronze medal in 2017 after the original 3rd-placer was disqualified for doping.