Jenn Suhr is healthy, happy, and excited.
The reigning Olympic pole champion will compete at the Upstate New York Holiday Classic indoor track and field meet at RIT’s Gordon Field House on Sunday. Suhr’s husband and coach Rick said Jenn will jump around 11 a.m.
Suhr, a Riga resident and Roberts Wesleyan graduate, will jump in the women’s elite field, which includes Medina native Janice Keppler, who finished ninth at the 2012 U.S. Outdoor Championships and was the fourth-ranked American in 2013, and Gates Chili freshman Erica Ellis.
Rick Suhr calls Ellis a “prodigy,” noting that she finished second in her age group at the USATF Youth Nationals earlier this year and currently ranks as the highest jumper in the state right now.
“I’m healthy and it’s nice that the weather has given us a break to get some good training in and there haven’t been sub-zero temperatures here,” said Jenn Suhr, a 16-time national champion. “This year I’m healthy and ready to go early and looking forward to going back to where it kind of started when I was just learning the pole vault.
“Right now I have a good grasp on my training and what I need to work on. The last couple of years has been a whirlwind and right now I am definitely confident in the direction that we’re moving.”
Rick Suhr said Jenn, the indoor world record-holder (16 feet, 6 inches), started off the indoor season earlier this month on a high note at the College at Brockport.
“Jenn feels phenomenal. She is in great shape. She jumped in a small meet about three weeks ago at Brockport State and put her right in the world lead. She actually jumped the highest jump ever in the world in December. You have to remember that December is very early in the track season.
“With that in mind, she jumped 15 feet, 9 inches, 4.80 meters. That just goes to show you the shape she is. Jenn wanted to start off the year, start off the Olympic year in the No. 1 spot. This year matters.”
The Suhrs are preparing for the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, but are excited for the opportunity to compete in front a hometown crowd.
“We’ve been banged up,” Rich Suhr said. “We were hurt at the world championships. But she’s healthy right now. I will tell you right now, I have no idea how high she might jump. I really don’t. We’re excited to just walk in with no pressure and just jump.”