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Suhr Thing?

7:33 PM, Jun 24, 2012   |    comments
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As a defending silver medalist from the Beijing games and earning a number one world ranking this year, you would think Fredonia native Jenn Suhr (formerly Stuczynski) would be a lock to make the U.S. Olympic team.

That's not what she'll tell you.

"Well you know I'd be lying to say that I don't envision and dream of a gold and think about it and what it would be like but... It's all dreams until those Olympic trials and until I make the team I really have to squash them and focus on what's at stake... and you know that's the most important meet right now."

Suhr will compete this weekend at the U.S. Olympic trials in Eugene, Oregon.  Qualifying in the women's pole vault is Friday, and the final is Sunday.   NBC Sports will carry that Sunday night at 7:00 - you will be able to watch it on Channel 2.

While Suhr takes things one vault at a time, there is reason for her to be much more confident, not only in the trials, but also looking toward London.  She has now been vaulting for seven years, and her coach, and now husband, Rick Suhr says that experience could and should be a difference maker this time around.

"I think it's changed that she's much more prepared to compete on the international scene, and there's adjustments there and there's experience there that you really can't gain.  That gap has been made up now... she has the experience to go ahead and possibly be able to win the whole thing."

The bar has been set extremely high, not only in terms of the vault, but also in terms of the obstacles Suhr had to overcome this year.  She dealt with and beat celiac disease, and is now thriving on a gluten free diet.  She achieved a number one world ranking earlier this year, after winning an elite Diamond League event in London.   She has beaten her Olympic rival and defending gold medalist Yelena Isinbayeva two of the three times she's faced her this year.

Jenn is originally from Fredonia.   She and Rick live and train in suburban Rochester, and Suhr says representing Western New York is very important to her.

"It's very meaningful to represent your hometown and the area you live. We feel a lot of support form everyone, and people are there and rooting for us and cheering for us... and so to be a part of it and to have so many good people behind... it means a lot to us."

Lancaster's Mary Saxer, and Medina's Janice Keppler will also be competing in the women's pole vault looking to earn one of three spots on the U.S. team.

abenigni@wgrz.gannett.com

 

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