AUSTIN (KXAN) — The Texas Relays are overflowing with its largest field to date. This week, 7,500 athletes are taking to the Texas track with Olympians and hopefuls alike hoping to take a page from pole vaulter Jenn Suhr.
“We live it. We live this event and this sport like no other. To the point, that its probably unhealthy. I probably live pole vault too much,” Suhr said after a Texas Relays practice.
Suhr’s obsession is certainly understandable. A gold medal in London. A silver in Beijing. Suhr’s success is long-lived, but at 34-years-old, she hasn’t lived the sport long.
“I didn’t start pole vaulting until I was 22. I was a basketball player at a small NAIA school. I played guard-forward. Next thing you know, it was the end of my senior year and they kind of talked me into pole vaulting,” Suhr said.
From Suhr’s rapid rise in pole vaulting came a new relationship between vaulter and here coach. “It’s been crazy. I ended up marrying Rick [her coach]. Kind of like a wonderland story.”
“I think it works with Jenn and I because we both really are very competitive. We’re ultra competitors… that really defines how we get along is that we both have the same priority in winning,” Jenn’s coach and husband, Rick Suhr said.
Outside of Olympic glory, Suhr’s ultra competitive spirit reaches ultra pole vaulting heights. Last month, Suhr broke her own indoor world record clearing 16 feet, 6 inches. Though, that’s not the goal this week in Austin.
“Once you keep thinking record, record, record, you just take the fun right out of it. I try to just think let’s just execute, let’s have fun, let’s enjoy the crowd, let’s enjoy warm weather… you know, records will come when they come,” Suhr said.
Suhr’s crossing off a bucket list trip with her visit to Texas. The next item on the list is a trip to Rio this summer.