AKRON, Ohio – University of Akron freshman pole vaulter Shawn Barber outdueled two-time U.S. national champion Mark Hollis and 2010 NCAA national champion Jordan Scott to win the elite competition Friday night at Stile Athletics Field House as part of the Zips’ inaugural Pole Vault Convention.
Barber, who is the national high school pole vault record holder, jumped 18-00.50 (5.50m) to best Scott, who finished second with a mark of 17-06.50 (5.35m). Shawn Light and Joe Wesley tied Hollis for third place with clearances of 16-06.75 (5.05m).
Zips’ junior Ariane Beaumont-Courteau also represented UA well in the women’s competition, placing second with a jump of 13-00.25 (3.97m). Heather Hamilton, who was a silver medalist at the 2008 Olympic trials while representing Canada, jumped 13-05.25 (4.12m) to win the event.
Claire Lucas, Alexandra Wood and Katherine Lee were also in action Friday. Lucas finished fifth with a jump of 12-06.25 (3.82m) while Wood and Lee tied for sixth place with like clearances of 12-00.50 (3.67m).
The Pole Vault Convention, which concludes Saturday, 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.