AKRON, Ohio – Shawn Barber, who signed a National Letter of Intent to attend The University of Akron last April, will represent Canada in the pole vault at the World Junior Championships this week in Barcelona, Spain.
Barber, a Canadian/American dual citizen who is a native of Kingwood, Texas, finished fourth in his bid to make the Canadian Olympic team in Calgary, Alberta, last month. Barber’s father George was a two-time Olympic Trials competitor for Canada in the 1980s with a best of 17-10.75.
Shawn has enjoyed an outstanding 2012 season, which began with a clearance of 17-06.50 at the Texas A&M Indoor Classic in January where he surpassed his previous personal record by a foot and was ranked No. 2 all-time on the indoor list. He went on to win the Simplot Games at 17-02.75, then placed second at the New Balance Nationals Indoor.
During the outdoor season, Barber jumped 17-08.00, which was the top mark in the nation and 11th-best all-time, in March beforing racking up a number of major titles, including the Texas Relays (17-06.50), Texas 4A state meet (16-00.00), Great Southwest (17-05.50) and the New Balance Nationals Outdoor (16-04.00).
Barber will join an Akron program next fall that has developed a reputation for developing some of the nation’s top pole vaulters. Regarded as one of the top pole vault coaches in the country, Dennis Mitchell – who recently completed his 17th season as head coach at UA – has produced five All-Americans in the event, earning 12 All-American honors, in the last nine years alone.