ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Fredonia native Jenn Suhr cleared 16 feet, 5½ inches to set the women’s pole vault indoor world record and win her seventh – and sixth straight – USA Indoor title at the USA Indoor Track & Field Championships on Saturday at the Albuquerque Convention Center.
Suhr was in excellent form as she sailed through each progression of the bar. Suhr won the competition as she cleared 15-9 on her first attempt. The bar then moved to 16-ß, which she also cleared on her first attempt. It was again one-and-done when the bar raised to the world-record height of 16-5½.
This was Suhr’s ninth American record in six years and her first world record. The previous world record of 16-5¼ was by Russia’s Yelena Isinbayeva in 2012.
Suhr was the Olympic gold medal winner in 2012.
Kylie Hutson finished as the runner-up with a personal best of 15-7 to become the third-best indoor American vaulter of all-time.
“I was in a groove tonight,” Suhr said. “I put a lot of pressure on myself; I want to perform well and perform what I am capable of, so I naturally put pressure on myself. I knew some big things could happen, I just need to be healthy and come down the runway. That was the main goal, just to be healthy.
“I knew if I could execute and stay focused and listen to the instructions I had that it could happen. I guess I knew where I was in my training, I just wasn’t going to let everyone else know. I’m glad that I got 5 meters out of the way, 5.02, because it is a mental barrier, and once you clear it, you know 4.80 is going to look really bad to me.”
Lancaster native Mary Saxer was third with a vault of 15-1.
Janice Kepler, who is from Medina, was fourth, also at 15-1.
“The girls in this field jumped so well today,” Suhr said. “Kylie jumped well, my training partner Janice jumped good. There are just a bunch of girls who jumped good today. The U.S. is starting to bring up the women’s vault and I think you can see it. Around the world they are going to see the results.”