Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online


June 5, 2013

Local coach tops Buffalo Hall Class of 2013

Dick Diminuco will be inducted this fall at Buffalo Hyatt Regency



Pytlak also became a national celebrity when he set a world record by catching a baseball dropped 708 feet from the Terminal Tower in Cleveland.
Jennifer Suhr
A Fredonia native, Suhr didn’t join her high school track and field team until her senior year, instead opting to excel in volleyball, basketball, soccer and golf. However, in her senior year, she won the state title in the pentathlon. 
She was named the NCCAA Women’s Basketball Player of the Year in 2004, averaging 24.3 points per game and ended her career as the all-time leading scorer at Roberts Wesleyan with 1,819 points.
Suhr also found time to participate in track, winning NCCAA titles in javelin, the 100-meter hurdles and, of course, the pole vault. She set school records in that event, the 100-meter hurdles, the javelin, high jump, 400-meter hurdles, the 4x100 relay and the 4x400 relay.
While a senior at Roberts Wesleyan, she joined forces with legendary pole vault coach Rick Suhr, who had already mentored two national high school champions, and the march to Olympic glory began. Under her new coach’s guidance, Suhr, in just six weeks, jumped 11 feet, 4 inches at the NAIA Championships and finished in sixth place.
She rose to the top of the sport, becoming the U.S. National Indoor Champion in 2005 and 2008, and the U.S. National Outdoor Champion in 2006, 2007, and 2008, earning the ranking of second in the world, with only world-record holder Yelena Isinbayeva of Russia in front of her.
The stage was set to earn a trip to the 2008 Summer Games and Suhr proved she was ready for the big stage as she set a new U.S. Outdoor record of 16’1¾” during the U.S. Olympic track and field trials in Eugene, Oregon. During the 2008 Summer Olympic Games in Beijing, with two other Russian competitors hot on her heels, she made the jump of her life, coming through with a 15’9” effort to earn the silver medal, and her Olympic dream became a reality.
She then set her sights on the 2012 Olympic Games in Londo, where Suhr vaulted past the competition, earning Olympic gold with her jump of 15-9.

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