ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Jenn Suhr set a women's pole vault indoor record by clearing 16 feet, 5½ inches Saturday at the USA Track & Field Indoor National Championships.
Suhr cleared the bar with plenty to spare on her first attempt. Yelena Isinbayeva of Russia set the previous record last year at 16-5¼.
"I was in a groove, I guess you could say," said Suhr, from Churchville, N.Y. "This was the goal. I had one number in mind. It was funny, all day we talked about one number, then (coach and husband Rick Suhr) was like 'If you hit 5.02 (meters), then we're going 5.07. I was like, 'That's not the number you're changing it on me.' But I knew what he was planning and I wanted to take a good shot at it. I was looking at 5.02 and that's what I got. So that already called the day for me."
It was the sixth straight national title for Suhr and seventh overall.
She cleared 15-8 3-4 at a meet last week and Suhr said that gave her the confidence that she could take it higher.
"Going into it, I just knew that if I hit my take off, and drove into the pole, it was going to be a clearance because I was doing all the work I needed to in the air," she said. "I'm glad that I got 5 meters out of the way, 5.02, because it is a mental barrier and once you clear it, 4.80 is going to look really bad to me."
In the women's 3,000 meters, Chelsea Reilly dove for the finish line to edge out Emily Infeld and Lisa Uhl with a time of 9 minutes, 23.12 seconds.
Reilly was 0.12 seconds ahead of Infeld and 0.25 seconds in front of Uhl.
"It was a pretty dramatic finish," Reilly said. "I just wanted to get across the line first. That's all that matters here."
As she neared the finish, "I just kind of dove across the finish line," Reilly said. "That would have been the worst thing to get nipped at the finish so I wanted to anything I could to make sure that didn't happen. I was just going for it."