No. 1 Ranked Pole Vaulter In World Jenn Suhr Headlines 2012 Drake Relays "Pole Vault In The Mall"
Suhr, the American record-holder and 10-time U.S. champion, will compete in a Drake Relays event for the first time, and will be joined by the rest of the U.S. top five in both men's and women's pole vault rankings.
"We are excited to introduce the first of many events for the 2012 Drake Relays with the world's top athletes," said Brian Brown, Director of the Drake Relays. "This class of pole vaulters, featuring World No. 1 Jenn Suhr and every top American in both men's and women's, is indicative of the desire these great athletes have to compete in America's Athletic Classic, the Drake Relays."
The women's field also includes Kylie Hutson (U.S. No. 2), Lacy Janson (No. 3), Becky Holliday (No. 4), Mary Saxer (No. 5) and Israel's Jillian Schwartz, who ranked No. 10 in the world in 2010.
The men's field includes U.S. No. 1 Jeremy Scott, Derek Miles (No. 2), Mark Hollis (No. 3), Brad Walker (No. 4), Scott Roth (No. 5) and Jordan Scott (No. 8).
All will compete in both the Mall event and the Drake Relays special invitational pole vault, with the exception of Suhr and Walker.
"I heard it is electrifying and the crowd is great," Suhr said via teleconference today. "People are there and it's just a pumped-up atmosphere. (My husband) Rick and I talked about competing in a street mall or a mall mall and we saw it online and thought this is it. This is perfect."
Suhr is excited to return to Des Moines after winning the 2010 U.S. outdoor championship at Drake Stadium.
"I just remember coming out and jumping the highest jump in the world that year at Drake and I have great memories of the place and memories of the town and everything involved," Suhr said. "I'm excited to go back and revisit everything."
Hutson, the 2011 U.S. outdoor champion, won the inaugural women's Pole Vault in the Mall last year, and duplicated her feat in the 2011 Drake Relays special invitational pole vault. Miles, six times ranked in the world top five, won the inaugural men's Pole Vault in the Mall in 2008, and again last year. Hollis won the only other Pole Vault in the Mall event in 2009.
Jeremy Scott won the 2011 Drake Relays special invitational pole vault, while Hollis placed second and Miles was third.
"I'm excited just like Jenn," Miles commented. "Drake Relays has always kind of been in my backyard. I went to the University of South Dakota, so I've been coming here since the mid '90s. I think '94 would have been my first meet where I actually jumped high enough to make it into the Drake Relays, which for me was a big thing in my pole vaulting career, being able to go to the big meet. So ever since then I've been hooked and it's always been an enjoyable experience."
Suhr won the 2012 U.S. indoor title, while Saxer finished second and Janson was third. Janson claimed fifth place at the recent world indoor championships.
On the men's side, Walker won the 2012 U.S. indoor title and finished third at the world indoor championships, while Roth was second at U.S. indoors and Hollis was third.
"I think the fun thing about the mall is it is a good setup," added Miles, the 2008 and '11 Pole Vault in the Mall champion. "It's a good runway, I think it's pretty fast and it's always pretty hard to explain, but if you imagine when you were a kid and you were running down the hallway and it always seemed like you were running faster because the walls were right next to you. That's kind of how we feel when we are going down a crowd like that. You just have so many people around. You're just moving fast and you feel like there's more energy. It's a hard thing to describe but it raises your level of intensity which allows you to get a little better stance and allows you to jump high, so I would like to, one of these times, take a shot at 19 in that place. I think it could be a good setup where we could jump over 19 feet."
Tickets for the 2012 Drake Relays April 26-28 are on sale now, and may be purchased online through the official Drake Athletics website (www.GoDrakeBulldogs.com) or by calling (515) 271-DOGS (3647).
Capsules on 2012 Pole Vault in the Mall entrants (April 25, 2012):
- Ranked No. 1 in the U.S. with a best of 19-1
- Winner of the 2011 Drake Relays (18-5¼). Also, 7thin 2010 (17-1½), 2ndin '09 (18-5¼), 5thin '07 (17-7)
- 2009 U.S. Indoor champion (18-4½) and 2ndin '09 U.S. Outdoor Championships (18-10¼)
- Fourth at 2010 U.S. Indoor (18-4½) and Outdoor (17-6½) Championships
- Tied for 6that 2008 U.S. Olympic Trials (18-0½)
- Personal best is 19-1 (2009)
- College: Arkansas. Born: May 1, 1981
- Currently Ranked No. 2 in the U.S.
- Top-five world ranking three of the past five years, and six of last 10.
- Two-Time U.S. Olympian; finished 4thin at 2008 Beijing Games and 7th in 2004 at Athens.
- USA Outdoor champion in 2011 (18-6.75), '08 (Olympic Trials), and runner-up in '09
- Finished in 3rd place at the 2011 Drake Relays (18-1¼)
- Finished 4that 2010 World Indoor Championships.
- Drake Relays Special Invitational pole vault champion in 2002, '08 and '09.
- Won inaugural Pole Vault in Mall in 2008 (18-8¾) and was third in '09 (17-8½)
- Personal-best mark of 19-2 ¼ came in 2008 in Berlin, Germany.
- College: South Dakota. Born: September 28, 1972
- Ranked No. 3 in the U.S. and finished third at 2012 U.S. indoor championships (18-4½)
- Finished 2nd at 2011 Drake Relays (18-5¼), 5that '10 (17-7¼) , 3rdat '09 (18-5¼) and '08 Relays (17-7)
- 2011 USA Indoor Champ
- Won 2009 Pole Vault in Mall (18-4½) after 2nd-place finish in '08 inaugural event (18-8¾)
- Personal best 18-10¼ ('08 and '10)
- Indoor best 5.63m, March 4, 2011 in South Bend, Ind.
- College: Olivet Nazarene. Born: Dec. 1, 1984.
- Ranked No. 4 in U.S....American outdoor record-holder at 19-9¾, cleared June 7, 2008 in Eugene, Ore.
- Won 2012 U.S. indoor title (19-2 ¾) and finished third at recent world indoor championships
- Top-ranked American in 2010. Ranked No. 1 in 2007 and '05.
- Winner of the 2011 Drake Relays "Pole Vault in the Mall" with teammate Kylie Hutson
- Gold medalist at 2007 World Championships (19-2¾), silver medal in '05 (18-10¼)
- Gold medalist at 2006 Indoor Worlds (19-0¼), silver medal in '08 (18-8¼)
- Three-time USA Outdoor champion (2005, '07, '09) and three-time USA Indoor champion (2005, '06, '08)
- Member of 2008 U.S. Olympic team
- Indoor best 19-2¼ , Sept. 9, 2008, Valencia, Spain.
- College: Washington. Born: June 21, 1981
- Ranked No. 5 in the U.S. with a best of 18-9¼ on April 16, 2011
- Winner of the 2011 NCAA Outdoor championship and two-time winner of the NCAA Indoor Championship ('10, '11)
- Six time All-American (Two Indoor and four Outdoor)
- College: Washington. Born: June 25, 1988
- Ranked No. 8 in the U.S.
- 2010 NCAA outdoor champion (17-8½)
- College: Kansas
- Currently the top ranked pole vaulter in the world with a vault of 16-1.25, and 2012 U.S. indoor champion
- American Indoor (16-0) and Outdoor (16-1¾) record holder
- 2008 Olympic Trials champion and Olympic silver medalist (15-9)
- 2008 World Indoor silver medalist (15-7)
- Four-time USA Outdoor champion (2006, '07, '09, & '10)
- Six-time USA Indoor champion (2005, '07, '08, '09, '11, & '12)
- Set a personal record of 16-1¾ in 2008
- 2005 NAIA Indoor champion (15-1½)
- College: Roberts Wesleyan. Born: Feb. 5, 1982
- Ranked No. 2 in the U.S. and finished fourth at 2012 U.S. indoor championships
- 2011 Pole Vault at the Mall with teammate Brad Walker (combined 33-6¼) and 2011 Drake Relays (14-10¼) champion
- 2011 USA Outdoor champion (15-3)
- Finished 3rdat 2010 Drake Relays (14-2½)
- Finished 4thin 2009 Univ/Col (13-1½), 6thin '08 (12-7 ½) and 8thin '07 (12-5½)
- Won indoor and outdoor NCAA championships in 2009 and 2010
- Personal best of 15-5 came in the 2011 Pole Vault in the Mall event at the Drake Relays
- College: Indiana State. Born Nov. 27, 1987
- No. 3 ranked American, and finished third at 2012 U.S. indoor championships, fifth at recent world indoors
- 2010 USA Indoor champion (15-3)
- Outdoor personal best of 15-1
- Placed 3rd twice at USA Outdoor championships (2007 & 2011)
- 2006 NCAA Outdoor champion
- 2003 NCAA Indoor champion
- Colege: Florida State Born: February 20, 1983
- Currently ranked No. 4 in USA and finished fifth at 2012 U.S. indoor championships (14-8)
- Finished 2nd in the 2011 Drake Relays (14-6¼)
- Runner-up at USA Outdoor Nationals in 2011 and 2010, 3rd in USA Indoor Nationals in 2010
- 2003 NCAA champion
- Finished 3rd at the 2006 Outdoor National Championships
- 6th at 2008 Olympic trials
- College: Oregon. Born: March 12, 1980
- Ranked No. 5 in the U.S. and finished second at 2012 U.S. indoor championships with personal best 15-1¾
- Finished 3rd at 2011 Drake Relays with a 13-9¼
- Finished 4th at 2010 Drake Relays with a vault of 13-9¼
- Has an indoor personal best of14-5¼ set at the PoleVault Stars meet in Donetsk, Ukraine on February 12, 2007
- Broke the Notre Dame school record in the pole vaultwith her vault of 13-3.75 in 2009
- College: Notre Dame. Born June 21, 1987
- Placed 11th in recent world indoor championships, competing for Israel
- 4th place at 2008 Olympic trials
- Ranked No. 4 in the U.S. 2010
- Outdoor personal best of 15-1 came in silver medal effort at Drake Stadium in 2010 USATF Championships (6/27/10)
- Indoor personal best of 14-11 cleared twice, Feb. 27, 2011 (silver) and Feb. 28, 2010 (3rd), both in at U.S. Indoors at Albuquerque.
- Finished 3rdat 2006 U.S. Outdoor Championships
- College: Oregon. Born: March 12, 1980
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