DES MOINES, Iowa — Former Fredonia resident Jenn Suhr cleared 15 feet, 3 inches to win the women’s special pole vault at the Drake Relays Saturday. Suhr cleared her winning height on her first try to break the Drake Relays record.
She passed when the bar was raised to 15-5 and failed to clear three tries at 15-8.
Suhr was only supposed to take part in a special exhibition for the Drake Relays held in a nearby mall on Wednesday, then head home. But Suhr had so much fun jumping indoors that she decided to stick around and jump Saturday — even though conditions were less than ideal for her first outdoor attempts of the season.
“It’s hard to pass up a pole vault opportunity here in Des Moines,” she said. “The crowd was so great when I was at the mall and I was pumped up and I thought technically I was on and I figured where else to open up my outdoor season than here.”
Mary Saxer of Lancaster finished fourth with a vault of 14-1 1/4, the same height as the third-place finisher April Steiner Bennett. Bennett had fewer misses at the winning height.
Janice Keppler of Medina took ninth place at 13-7 1/4.
The previous Drake Relays record for the women’s pole vault was 15-1 1/2 by Stacey Dragila in 2003. Suhr owns the Drake Stadium record of 16 feet, 1/2 inch, which she set in 2010 at the U.S. Outdoor Championships.
In other competition, Wallace Spearmon, Jr. had tried more than once to break the 200-meter Drake Relays record set 15 years ago by Michael Johnson, partly because Johnson was an idol to Spearmon growing up.
That Spearmon was able to do it in such chilly conditions bodes well for the rest of his outdoor season.
Spearmon finished in 20.02 seconds, beating the mark Johnson set in 1997 by three-hundredths of a second to highlight Saturday’s frigid final session.
By Buffalo News
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