AKRON, Ohio – Some of the best American pole vaulters of all time will be on campus this weekend when The University of Akron track and field program hosts its inaugural Pole Vault Convention at Stile Athletics Field House.
The highlight of the event will be Friday night’s Elite Competition, which is open to the public and free of charge. Headlining the list of participants are two-time U.S. national champion Mark Hollis and 2010 NCAA national champion Jordan Scott on the men’s side. A pair of Olympic Trails participants, Kat Majester, who placed fifth last sumer, and Angela Rummans will be featured in the women’s competition.
Olympic gold medalist (2004) Tim Mack and Jeff Hartwig, who set the American Indoor and Outdoor records in 1998, and will provide commentary for the event, which will start at 7 p.m.
Current U.S. Olympic champion Jen Suhr, who has been the No. 1-ranked American pole vaulter since 2006 and won 11 U.S. national championships, will be on-hand to meet fans and sign autographs starting at 6 p.m.
A number of current Zips student-athletes will also take part in the unique competition, including Shawn Barber, Shawn Light and Joe Wesley from the men’s team and Ariane Beaumont-Courteau, Katherine Lee, Claire Lucas and Alexandra Wood from the women’s side.
The Pole Vault Convention is the vision of Zips’ head coach Dennis Mitchell, who has coached 64 All-American honors during his career, including All-Americans in the Pole Vault at the University of Texas, University of North Carolina, and Akron.
During his 18 years at Akron, Mitchell has won 17 Mid-American Conference Team Championships and been named the MAC Coach of the year 16 times. Furthermore, Coach Mitchell’s athletes have established the MAC All-Time Records in Indoor & Outdoor Men’s & Women’s Pole Vault.
In 2012, his vaulters went 1-2-3 in the men’s pole vault at the Indoor MAC Championships for the second year in a row and finished 1-2 in the men’s and women’s pole vault at the Outdoor MAC Championships. Coach Mitchell is also a regular instructor at USATF Emerging Elite Coaches Clinic at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista, Calif.
2013 University of Akron Pole Vault Elite Competition
Friday, Jan. 4, 2013 | Stile Athletics Field House | 7 p.m. (ET)