Athlete of the Week - Nathan Nelson, Century Track and Field

Published: Jun. 12, 2023 at 11:16 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) – Nathan Nelson had a good feeling.

“I had a good practice you know, the week before hand everything was kind of falling into place and then we were looking at the weather and everything just seemed to be like just perfect conditions for it,” Nelson said.

Those feelings confirmed once the Senior pole vaulter took the state title by clearing 15 feel.

Then he went higher.

“Once we saw 15-9 and he got the Section 1AAA record there it was just gametime,” Century Head Boys Track and Field Coach Eric Gahr said.

More specifically record time, 16 the all-time state meet mark.

16-1 was Nelson’s attempt.

“At the peak of the vault I knew I made it over like there’s no way this is coming down and just in that moment I was so excited, I had so much adrenaline,” Nelson said.

This record a representation of all the work he’s put in to go from 7 feet as a 7th grader to this.

“I would do like lifting in the winter, I’d do clubs in the summer. So, I was training almost year-round for it.”

Combine that with his ability.

“Tall, fast, strong and healthy. He’s been able to do it all of it and just an obsessive personality over perfection cause there’s so many little details that come into it,” Gahr said.

And you have a state champion pole vaulter, which is funny cause Nelson never saw himself here.

“I didn’t think I’d ever do anything athletic in college. I was like I’ll just have fun in high school and then you know just do what you do in college and then after that sophomore year I was like I might be able to really go way farther with this,” Nelson said.

Now he’s headed to the University of Wisconsin and leaving behind a strong legacy.

“That anything is possible to gain that many feet in pole vault over your career from seventh grade to senior year. I think just shows that if you put in the work, if you do the offseason work you can do great things,” Gahr said.