Suhr wins pole vault at indoor championships

Updated: February 26, 2012, 1:25 AM ET
Associated Press

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- Jennifer Suhr overcame an aching left Achilles to win the pole vault Saturday in the USA Indoor Track & Field Championships for the sixth time.

Suhr cleared 15-feet, 3 3/4-inches on her first attempt and only her second height after passing on most of the other levels to relieve the strain on the injury. She tried to break her own American indoor record at 16 3/4 but came up short.

"In hindsight, I probably wouldn't have," she said of the try for the record. "But when you're feeling good and you have the crowd there, you just want to try something. That's why we just bumped it up right away and took three shots."

Bernard Lagat won his third consecutive 3,000-meter indoor championship, using a big kick over the last half lap to finish in 7 minutes, 47.54 seconds.

"I wanted to show these guys that daddy can still kick, man," the 37-year-old Lagat said while hugging two of his children. "But seriously, I felt good. I felt so good. I've been training. I came in here on Thursday and I did a 30-minute run and I didn't feel a thing. I thought I was going to feel that 5,000. Every time I come here I just do well."

Jennifer Simpson won her second straight women's 3,000-meter title in 9:19.15 and will try to repeat in both long events with the 1,500 on Sunday.

"I felt like today is the first of two hard days for me and so I just wanted to, instead of taking control of the race and do my own thing and be in control, I really am learning how to read a race, run tactically, be confident throughout the whole thing," she said. "And I think I did that better today than I ever have."

Also Saturday, Dexter Faulk won the preliminaries in the 60-meter hurdles in 7.40 seconds, the top American time this year. Justin Gatlin's 6.51 in winning the 60-dash preliminaries also is the best American time of the year.


Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press

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