(Born on February 5, 1982) -- The past year has been a gold-medal one for Jennifer Suhr. Not too many Western New Yorkers have been able to say the same.
Jennifer Stuczynski was the daughter of two grocery store owners in Fredonia. In high school, she took part in just about every sport possible, from basketball to track. In fact, she was the state pentathlon champion in 2000. From there it was on to Roberts Wesleyan.
In 2004, Stuczynski was took up pole vaulting. In merely 10 months, she was good enough to win the United States indoor title. By 2006 she was the second-best vaulter in American history. Stuczynski reached the Olympics in 2008, finishing with the silver medal.
In two years later, she married her coach, Rick Suhr. The championships kept piling up, but her eyes were set on London in 2012. She overcame an injury to qualify for the American team, and then eventually took the gold medal.
Considering that Suhr is now the American indoor record-holder, the American outdoor record-holder, and a gold medalist, you’d have to say she’s in a class by herself.
--- Budd Bailey