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By David Hunter, 1/7/17
 
While arctic temperatures and bone-chilling winds punished most of the country, a select group of elite pole vaulters were heating things up inside the Stiles Athletic Center on the University of Akron campus at the 5th annual Akron Pole Vault Convention.
 
Members of pole vault royalty were in attendance. In the women’s competition, the headliner was Jenn Suhr. The 2012 Olympic vault champion and the indoor world record holder had made the trip down from her upstate New York home to take on a worthy field that included former national champion Mary Saxer and emerging young star Katie Nageotte. 
 
In the men’s event, reigning world champion Shawn Barber and former Zip vault star was looking to make it three Convention wins in a row. Although not competing, retired 2004 Olympic champion and former Olympic record holder Tim Mack was present along with several of his Knoxville vault pupils here to compete and to pick up some technical pointers during the 3-day instructional seminar. Even though she has yet to open her 2017 season, the reigning Olympic champion Katerina Stefanidi and her husband Mitchell Krier, new northeastern Ohio residents, were also in the house.
Published in Track & Field