August 10, 2023
WEST SENECA — Jenn Suhr is adding another honor to her long list of accolades.
Suhr, the 2000 graduate of Fredonia High School who went on to win a gold medal at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, will be inducted into the Section VI Hall of Fame along with nine others during its ninth annual induction ceremony Friday, Dec. 1 at The Columns Banquets.
When Suhr was at Fredonia, she played softball, basketball and soccer and was, of course, a track and field athlete. In the latter, she won the New York State Public High School Athletic Association pentathlon title in 2000, which was her senior year. She continued her track and field career at Roberts Wesleyan College in Rochester where she also played basketball. As a collegiate senior on the hardwood, she averaged 24.3 points and 6.7 rebounds per game, leading the Raiders to the NCCAA championship game. By the time she graduated, Suhr was the school’s all-time leading scorer.
Suhr was named Pole Vaulter of the Decade by Track & Field News and has been considered Western New York’s greatest female athlete across all sports.
In addition to her gold medal at the 2012 Olympics, Suhr won a silver medal at the 2018 Beijing Olympics.
She won silver in the 2013 World Championships in Moscow, gold at the 2016 World Indoor Championships in Portland. She was the 2005 NAIA indoor champion, has held the American indoor and outdoor pole vault records, is a seven-time USA Outdoor pole vaulting champion, six-time USA indoor pole vaulting champion and was the 2014 USA indoor pole vaulting runner up.
Suhr actually planned to retire in 2017, telling NBC Sports in 2018 that she had lost her passion for the pole vault. Her attempt to defend her gold medal in 2016 ended after Suhr fell ill in Rio, coughing up blood the morning of the Olympic final and throwing up during the competition. She ended up seventh in her final Olympic competition. The ensuing 2017 season was the first in more than a decade during which Suhr didn’t win a national title either indoors or outdoors.
She set a personal best by clearing 4.93 meters, earned the top ranking in the world in 2018 and broke the Pre Classic record by clearing 4.85 meters in 2018 as well. Suhr then made one final run at the Olympics, qualifying for the U.S. finals in June 2021 before finishing fourth.
The Class of 2023 will also include Clar Anderson, a wrestler from Olean; Starling Bryant, a coach at East and the Buffalo Public Schools, Patrick Burker, a Lockport administrator; Richard DeKay, a West Valley administrator; Byron Mulkey, a basketball player from Niagara Wheatfield; Timm Slade, a Section VI administrator; Thomas Sutton, a boys lacrosse official; Gene Tundo, a football coach from Orchard Park; and Jeffrey Tundo, a lacrosse player from Orchard Park.
The Columns is located at 2221 Transit Road in Elma. The evening will commence at 5:30 p.m. with a cash bar and dinner followed by the induction ceremony. Dinner reservations are $45 per individual and $25 for children ages 4-12. Reservations must be made prior to noon on Tuesday, Nov. 21. Tickets can be purchased online at https://gofan.co/app/events/1028238?schoolid=NYSHSAAVI.