Jenn Suhr, the former Olympic champion and U.S. record holder, has some new young competition on the North American pole vaulting scene.
Alysha Newman, a 22-year-old from London, Ont., won the biggest title of her young career Sunday, triumphing over Suhr in the adidas Boost Boston Games held outdoors on the Boston Common in Massachusetts.
Newman, who started college at Eastern Michigan and finished her career at the University of Miami in Florida, cleared 15 feet, 1 inch on her third try to win the event. Suhr failed to clear that same height in her only try.
Suhr finished second, clearing 14-9 on her third try at that height. She then failed in two tries at 14-11 and passed on the third attempt while Newman was clearing that height. The bar was then raised to 15-1 which Newman cleared. The Canadian failed to clear 15-5 3/4 in three tries.
Even though the outdoor setting was unusual, Sunday’s result had to be disappointing for the 35-year-old Suhr, who had cleared 15-6, a world best indoors this year, to win a meet in Ohio in January and turned in the best vault of the year outdoors when she cleared 15-1.15 in Austin, Texas in April.
Newman is the Canadian women’s record hold at 4.7 meters (15-5) and was a collegiate All-American at Miami, but this was the first major triumph over her career.
Katie Nageotte of the U.S. was third (14-7 1/2) and another American, Kourtney Ross was fourth (14-1 3/4).