May 18, 2011
For Immediate Release
Eugene, Oregon  



4” is the magic number in the women’s pole vault in the 2011 Prefontaine Classic at Hayward Field. The 4th stop on the elite Samsung Diamond League circuit, this year’s Pre Classic on June 4th will feature 4 of the 5 top vaulters in the world from last year, as ranked by Track & Field News magazine. And the field also includes 4 of the 5 highest vaulters in history. The meet record of 15-5¾ (4.72) set by Stacy Dragila in 2002 is definitely in danger.

World Number 1 (okay, we’ll let another number in) Fabiana Murer returns to defend her Pre Classic title from last year. The personable Brazilian started her 2010 campaign by winning gold at the World Indoor Championships and finished off by capturing the overall Samsung Diamond League title. Her PR of 15-11 (4.85) makes her =No. 4 on the all-time list. 

Look for Jenn Suhr to be her biggest competition: the American recordholder tops the world list this year at 15-11 ¼ (4.86). Suhr is the Olympic silver medalist from Beijing, and the second highest vaulter of all-time with her AR 16-1¾ (4.92) in the 2008 Olympic Trials at Hayward Field. That mark also stands as the stadium record.

The big names don’t stop there. Super-consistent world No. 2 of last year Svetlana Feofanova of Russia is the winner of nine Olympic or World Championships medals indoors and out. She’s the 3rd highest vaulter of all-time (16-0/4.88) and ensured her place in history by becoming the first women’s 16-footer ever.

And don’t forget the woman who is tied with Murer for No. on the all-time list, which was coincidentally her rank in the world last year. That’s AnnaRogowska of Poland, merely the reigning World Champion.

Suhr’s not the only American to watch for. Last year’s world No. 5, Lacy Janson, was the top-rated American in 2010. Then there’s up-and-coming Kylie Hutson, who won NCAA titles indoors and out in both 2009 and 2010 and recently raised her PR to 15-5 (4.70).

Wanna see the future of the event? Check out 17-year-old Angelica Bengtsson. The Swedish wunderkind broke the World Youth Record last year, and already this year has broken the World Junior Record no fewer than 4 (there’s that number again) times, the highest at 15-2¼ (4.63).


Fabiana Murer (Brazil)
Jenn Suhr (USA)
Svetlana Feofanova (Russia)
Anna Rogowska (Poland)
Lacy Janson (USA)
Angelica Bengtsson (Sweden)
Carolin Hingst (Germany)
Kylie Hutson (USA) 




The meet record in the triple jump may not last beyond its first birthday, what with standard bearer Nadezhda Alekhina of Russia back and ready to eclipse her Hayward Field and Prefontaine Classic records of 47-11½ (14.62) set in winning last year.

Last year’s No. 4 world ranker, Alekhina will get plenty of push from Ukraine’s Olha Saladukha (No. 3) and fellow Russians Anna Pyatykh (No. 5) andAnastasiya Potapova (No. 10).  

Saladukha was last year’s European champion, while the veteran Pyatykh has won no fewer than four World Championships medals indoors and out in an international career spanning a decade.

The U.S. will be represented by reigning national indoor champion and two-time Olympic Trials runner-up Shakeema Walker-Welsch and Washington State alum Blessing Ufodiama.



Nadezhda Alekhina (Russia)
Olha Saladukha (Ukraine)
Anna Pyatykh (Russia)
Anastasiya Potapova (Russia)
Yekaterina Kayukova (Russia)
Shakeema Walker-Welsch (USA)
Blessing Ufodiama (USA) 

Full preliminary entry list

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