WEST DES MOINES, Iowa — London Olympic Games silver medalists Bjorn Otto and Yarisley Silva won the 2013 Drake Relays Pole Vault in the Mall presented by Hy-Vee on Wednesday night at Jordan Creek Town Center, setting event records in the process.
Otto, the 2012 men’s silver medalist at the indoor World Championships who is a native of Germany, cleared a height of 19-0.25 (5.80m) on his final try to claim the victory over Renaud Lavillenie, the 2012 London Games gold medalist, and set the new event record. He then attempted 19-2.25 (5.85m), but missed on all three attempts.
Silva, a Cuban who holds the top outdoor women’s mark in the world currently at 15-9.25 (4.81m), cleared a height of 15-9.75 (4.82m) on her first attempt to set the new event record. She then missed on all three attempts at 16-0.75 (4.90m).
“I felt really good winning the Pole Vault in the Mall,” Silva said. “I’m really happy to represent my country in this event. I loved competing here.”
Lavillenie, from France, placed second in the men’s division clearing 18-8.25 (5.70m), while Jordan Scott, the 2013 American Indoor Champion, took third clearing 18-4.5 (5.60m).
“It is real interesting,” Lavillenie said of jumping in the mall. “The people are very close to us. It is very difficult at the beginning to find a good mark as we have the feeling that we are going to jump into the wall. But it was very interesting to compete here.”
Americans Kylie Hutson and Mary Saxer shared second place on the women’s side as they each cleared a height of 15-1 (4.60m) on their first attempts, but both failed to clear 15-5 (4.70m) on all three attempts. Hutson was the 2011 Pole Vault in the Mall champion.
“I actually felt pretty good about my performance today,” Hutson said. “I had a rough go at the Kansas Relays last Saturday so coming back from a no height in Kansas is pretty nice.”
Brad Walker, the 2012 Drake Relays men’s Pole Vault in the Mall champion, set the previous record mark of 18-9.25 (5.72m) last year. Walker finished tied for fourth this year with Mark Hollis as each cleared a height of 18-0.5 (5.5m) on their second attempts. Both failed to clear 18-4.5 (5.60m). Steve Lewis, who finished fifth in London, was sixth on Wednesday night clearing a height of 17-6.5 (5.35m) on his final attempt.
Rounding out the women’s field was Becky Holliday in fourth place and April Steiner Bennett in fifth place, clearing heights of 14-5.25 (4.40m) on attempt one and 14-5.25 on attempt two, respectively.