Park Hill Notebook: Nilsen vaults 19 feet at Nebraska Invitational

A 2016 Park Hill graduate, Chris Nilsen continues to raise the bar on his own performances after a history-making performance at the University of Nebraska on Saturday, Feb. 16.

Nilsen won his fifth indoor title of the season in six tries and became the fifth collegiate athlete all time to vault higher than 19 feet, clearing the bar at 19-feet 0.25 inches at the University of Nebraska tune-up event.  The vault ranks No. 7 in the world in the 2017-18 indoor track and field season, and the highest by an American.

 Chris Nilsen

Chris Nilsen

Nilsen who won two state titles at Park Hill in the pole vault and has seen even more success at the University of South Dakota, where he is a two-time All-American in the event, and the reigning indoor national champion with the NCAA Indoor Nationals coming up on March 8-9.

DiBlasi leaving Iowa State

A Park Hill product is leaving the wrestling program at Iowa State and another future Cyclone won’t be showing up on campus.

The Des Moines Register reported on Feb. 9, that Colston DiBlasi was granted his full release so he could transfer from Iowa State. He leaves during his redshirt sophomore season with a 20-13 record after wrestling at 165 this year.

He finished his Iowa State career with a 59-35 mark with 37 pins.

His brother, Weston DiBlasi, signed to wrestle with Iowa State in November also asked for and was granted his release. The two intend to wrestler together next season, though Colston’s release says he can’t go to any other Big 12 school.

“My brother and I are both looking for a new home and we are looking for somewhere to go,” Weston DiBlasi said during the MSHSAA State Wrestling Championships this past weekend in Columbia. “I think we agree it would be cool to wrestle together, but I don’t think either of us are dead set on that, but that was the plan originally, so it could happen.

“I knew the Iowa State coaches and the Paulsons (Trent and Travis). It felt like home and the right to be. I’m hoping to find something else like that.”

Colston DiBlasi was recruited to Iowa State by former coach Kevin Jackson, but he was fired and replaced by Virginia Tech coach Kevin Dresser.

DiBlasi’s exit is the fifth for the Cyclones this season. He was 20-12 this year at the time of his exit, which included 17 pins.

He was sixth at the Big 12 championship last year, while also earning first-team All-Big 12 academic honors.

Hood named co-coach of year

Park Hill volleyball coach Lindsey Hood recently received the Jarry Thomas Memorial High School Volleyball co-coach of the year award from the Greater Kansas City Officials Association.

Hood received the recognition for getting the most out of her players, knowing court protocol and mentoring her student athletes.

The Trojans went 19-12-3 this past year and reached the district championship game.

Hood both coached and played in matches that Jarry Thomas officiated. Thomas passed away in