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Suhr wins world pole-vaulting title

It’s been a busy March already for pole vaulter Jenn Suhr. It’s now a happy month, too.

Suhr, a Fredonia native, won the title at the world indoor track and field championships late Thursday night, which took place in Portland, Ore. The victory came only a few days after the United States indoor championships, in which Suhr finished second.

Suhr’s winning vault was 16 feet, ¾ inches, which set a record in the event.

The Portland competition featured the best field in history in one sense, as four pole vaulters cleared 15 feet, 11 inches. That had never happened before in women’s pole vaulting.

“The pole vault’s getting good, but to be in it is a little stressful,” Suhr said to the Oregonian. “I want to be a fan to watch. The women’s pole vault has gone to another level.”

Suhr’s victory certainly makes her one of the favorites to defend her gold medal at the upcoming Olympics in Rio de Janiero, Brazil, this summer. She jumped 16-6 in a meet in Brockport to set a world indoor record earlier this year. Suhr passed on the chance to go for another world record Thurday once she had wrapped up the title in this competition, citing a tight calf muscle.

She never missed a jump in taking the title, and finished ahead of Sandi Morris of the U.S., Ekaterina Stefanidi of Greece and Nichole Buchler of Switzerland. Morris defeated Suhr in the U.S. competition with a stunning vault of 16-2¾.

On Friday, former University at Buffalo athlete Jon Jones finished fifth in the shot put with a throw of 20.31 meters. Tomas Walsh of New Zealand won at 21.78 meters.