BOSTON – After failing to clear a height in the women’s pole vault last weekend at the U.S. Open, Jenn Suhr made the most of her opportunities at the New Balance Grand Prix Saturday night. On the second stop of USATF’s Indoor Visa Championship Series, Suhr bettered her own existing American record with a winning height of 4.88m/16-0 to highlight events at the Reggie Lewis Center.
The meet will be broadcast Sunday on ESPN2 at 2 p.m.
Suhr bettered her previous American record of 4.86m/15-11.25, which she set last year at the USA Indoor Championships and became the #2 indoor vaulter of all time. She brought a sellout crowd of 4,072 to its feet in becoming the first women’s American pole vaulter to clear the 16-foot barrier indoors. Owner of the best vault in the world this year, Suhr made just one attempt at 5.01m/16-5.25, which would have set a world record. She passed on the final two because of problems with her Achilles tendon.
David Oliver scored his first major victory of the 2012 indoor season, winning the men’s 60-meter hurdles in 7.60 seconds, coming back from a sluggish start to win at the tape.
Sneaking through on the inside, Maggie Vessey stole the women’s 800 from American Erica Moore and Ethiopia’s Fantu Magiso in a photo-finish. With Magiso in the lead but fading into the final homestretch, Vessey found a small window in lane one and finished in a dead heat with Moore. Both finished with times of 2:02.37, but Vessey was ruled the winner with an overall time of 2:02.361 to Moore’s 2:02.365.
Congestion in a close pack in the men’s mile sent Great Britain’s 5,000m world champion, Mo Farah, to the track on the race’s opening lap. American 10,000m record holder Galen Rupp led much of the race before being overtaken by Ireland’s Ciaran O’Lionaird and Canada’s Taylor Milne, who finished first and second, respectively. O’Lionaird recorded a winning time of 3:56.01 and Milne placed second at 3:56.40. Rupp was third in 3:57.10 while Farah rallied to place fourth in 3:57.92.
Adam Nelson made a big improvement from last weekend’s third place finish at the U.S Open to win the men’s shot put Saturday with a first-round toss of 21.27m/69-9.5.
2011 World Outdoor champion 400m gold medalist Kirani James of Grenada ran out of lane five to win the race in a world-leading time of 45.96 while DeeDee Trotter picked up a win in the women’s in a time of 37.07.
Also posting wins Saturday were Ethiopian “baby-faced assassin” Tirunesh Dibaba in the women’s 2 mile (9:21.60), Murielle Ahoure of the Ivory Coast in the women’s 60m (7.13), Btissam Lakhouad of Morocco in the women’s 1,000m (2:38.14), and Caleb Ndiku of Kenya in the men’s 3,000 meters, where he finished in 7:38.29 to outlast Dejen Gebremeskel of Ethiopia (7:38.97).
For on the Visa Championship Series, including complete results, visit www.visachampionshipseries.com
David Oliver (winner men’s 60m hurdles)
“It was not a very good run. I can't give up segments like that. My first hurdle is completely messed up. But that's what indoors is for – to train and get a good accounting of myself. I don't think I did that today. I didn't execute my start; it’s always a work in progress for me. I understand what the problem is; we'll get it eventually. That's what's cool about running indoors in the U.S. I run a race and get instant feedback from coach. My coach can make adjustments. It’s good for me to run week after week.
“It’s good to win against such a quality field. I'm going to get it done. It’s good to be healthy, running and competing again. I'm glad they have our race in all the U.S. events. I love being on TV so my friends and family can see me and not have to hunt for some live stream from Europe.”
Adam Nelson (winner men’s shot put)
“It feels good. This is still early for me. For me it’s all about building confidence right now. What you try to do is build your confidence early. Sometime this is like getting out of bed in the morning. I have the experience to be able to roll with the punches. The greatest thing about experience is there are few things you haven’t seen before. And the worst part about experiences is there are few things you haven’t seen before. I have been injury free for a year and a half now and my training has been more consistent.”
Kirani James (winner men’s 400m)
“It was a great race. I opened up my season here to see where I'm at. I had a very short fall training. I had great time in the weight room and incorporated my weight training well. I am happy with my opening race. I think the race was exceptional. I just competed to see where I'm at and will make any adjustments. I'm happy with my conditioning and I'm happy with my opening time. My main motive is to go out and compete and represent my country well.”
Maggie Vessey (winner women’s 800m)
“I felt good. I felt we ran an even pace. I thought there was enough room for me to get by. It was hard making moves. Outdoors I have a tendency to move out wide. I was a little surprised I was able to get through. That move definitely wasn’t planned. There was a little bit of space and I just tried to shoot through. I had those first race jitters a bit.
Erica Moore (runner-up women’s 800m)
“I thought I had it. I should have expected (Vessey) to come up like that. My eyes got a little big when I thought I had it won.”
Deedee Trotter (winner women’s 300m)
“This competition was to see where I was. It was a little bumpy. I felt like I was building momentum and then I'd go down. But I was able to pull it out and get there at the last minute. I love it here in Boston; this is my favorite stadium to run in and my favorite crowd.”
Ciaran O’Lionaird (winner men’s mile)
“It is all a learning experience for me. In this you have to be ready for everything. (Mo Farah) showed a lot of character and courage to be able to get up and finish like that. I’m thankful we can go through this uninjured. Anything can happen. I’m the same guy I was a few years ago running 4:15; now I just have better people around me.”
Tirunesh Dibaba (winner women’s 2 mile)
“I feel very happy. I believe I have come through with very little training and I think I have done very well. I've been training for two months and just three times on the track. Boston is my second home. ‘Bostonians’ support me. To run here is good for me and I am very much pleased with my performance.”
Meseret Defar (winner women’s 3,000m)
“I'm very pleased with my race. This is my first race indoors. The race was uneven but I have raced well. I was planning to go under 8:30 but it didn't happen. But I'm very pleased.”
Murielle Ahoure (winner women’s 60m)
“It felt great. I was extremely nervous before the competition. I went out and executed exactly how I've been training. I'm extremely happy.”