NEW YORK — Fredonia native Jenn Suhr battled cool, rainy conditions at Icahn Stadium on Randall’s Island to win the women’s pole vault at the IAAF Diamond League-Adidas Grand Prix meet Saturday.
Suhr cleared 15 feet, 2 inches to beat Brazil’s Fabiana Murer, who reached 14-10. Two other jumpers also reached 14-10, Yarisley Silva of Cuba (third) and Lacy Janson of the U.S. (fourth). Becky Holliday of the U.S. tied for sixth at 13-10.
Russia’s Yelena Isinbayeva and American Mary Saxer (Lancaster), the other women in the top five of the Diamond League standings besides Suhr, Murer and Silva, did not participate in Saturday’s meet. The next Diamond League meet is the Prefontaine Classic in Eugene, Ore., this coming weekend.
Meanwhile, Tyson Gay accomplished all his goals. He won, put his body through the grind of rounds – and stayed injury-free.
The American record holder eased to victory in the 100 meters, finishing in 10.02 seconds into a headwind Saturday. He appeared to slow down a bit at the end but still beat countryman Ryan Bailey by .13.
“It was important to leave here healthy and not try to push it too hard with the conditions,” Gay said.
A year ago at this meet, Gay made his return to competition after major hip surgery, running in the “B” race as he scrambled to ready himself for Olympic trials.
After Gay barely missed out on a bronze medal in London, he’s off to a strong start this season and looking to challenge Usain Bolt again.
The 100 field had to run semifinals to qualify for the final, which Gay figured would be good preparation for U.S. trials before the world championships in August.
“I’m definitely pleased with the time,” he said. “I felt comfortable.”
Gay could probably relate to high jumper Blanka Vlasic’s feelings on Saturday. The two-time world champion competed for the first time since ankle surgery 16 months ago – and she won, clearing 6 feet, 4œ inches. The weather made her foot ache.
“But I don’t care,” she said. “I’m happy and I know it will recover.”
Olympic gold medalist David Rudisha won the 800 in 1:45.14 – well off his world record of 1:40.91, but about what he expected considering the weather.
Two-time Olympic champion Veronica Campbell-Brown of Jamaica took first in the 200 in 22.53 seconds on a day not designed for fast times.
Reigning world champ Amantle Montsho won the 400; Olympic gold medalist Sanya Richards-Ross, recovering from toe surgery, pulled out after deciding her foot wasn’t ready to return to competition.
Olympic silver medalist Michael Tinsley used the weather to his advantage to win the 400 hurdles.