AKRON, Ohio – A star-studded cast – including Olympic Team hopefuls, World Championship Team members and NCAA national champions – will highlight the list of competitors putting their elite skills on display at the second annual Pole Vault Convention, hosted by The University of Akron track and field program Saturday night at Stile Athletics Field House.
In all, the elite pole vault competition will feature 22 athletes (11 men’s competitors and 11 women’s competitors) and is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. Tickets are $6 and can be purchased at the door.
The convention will also include guest appearances by 2004 U.S. Olympic Gold MedalistTim Mack and former American record holder Jeff Hartwig. Mack will talk about his preparation leading up winning gold in Athens from 3-4 p.m. while Hartwig will discus what it took to break the U.S. record in 2000 from 4-5 p.m.
Both Mack and Hartwig will join Dave Hunter from Track and Field News as commentators during the competition.
The list of men’s competitors include UA sophomore and current Canadian record holderShawn Barber, 2013 USATF National Champion Jordan Scott, 2012 NCAA Outdoor Champion and current U.S. World Championship Team member Jack Whitt, 2011 U.S. Indoor and 2010 U.S. Outdoor Champion Mark Hollis, UA senior and 2012 Mid-American Conference Outdoor Champion Shawn Light, 2013 New Balance National High School Champion Daven Murphree, 2013 NCAA All-America Second Team honoree Ross Colton, UA junior and 2013 Decathlon All-American Alex McCune, 2011 NCAA Decathlon Champion Michael Morrison, Sam Bell and former Division III national champion Jake Winder. Stephen F. Austin’s Cameron Meyer and Jeff McClure will serve as alternates.
Women’s competitors include 2012 U.S. World Championship Team member Mary Saxer, 2013 U.S. Indoor and Outdoor runner-up and 2013 and 2011 U.S. World Championship Team member Kylie Hudson, 2008 Olympic Trials runner-up and 2007 Pan Am Games silver medalist April Steiner-Bennett, 2012 Olympic Games finalist and two-time U.S. Outdoor runner-up Becky Holliday, Division II record holder Katie Naget, UA junior and 2013 NCAA Outdoor qualifier Claire Lucas, UA senior and two-time MAC Champion Ariane Beaumont-Courteau, former All-American Vera Neuslander, Kayla Caldwell, Angela Rummans and Heather Hamilton. UA freshman Caroline Hasse and 2013 Division III Champion Michelle Favre will serve as alternates.
Akron’s annual Pole Vault Convention is an all-inclusive pole vault experience for athletes, coaches and parents that features classroom sessions, learn-by-doing clinics, and competitions.
The three-day convention, which is the vision of Zips’ head track and field coach Dennis Mitchell, begins with registration Friday at 5 p.m. Mitchell has coached 66 All-American honors during his career, including All-Americans in the Pole Vault at the University of Texas, University of North Carolina, and University of Akron.
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