Pole vaulter goes for Olympic gold with some support from Hays
By RANDY GONZALES
A piece of Hays, Kansas, is at the Olympic Games in London. And, if U.S. women's pole vaulter Jenn Suhr wins a medal, part of the credit might go to Stromgren Athletics, 600 Main.
Suhr, who took first place at the U.S. Olympic Trials in June and was the silver medalist in Beijing in 2008 has been bothered by a leg injury.
The day before the American team was to leave for London, Steve Arensdorf, chief operating officer at Stromgren, got a call asking for a company product called the hamstring, groin and hip support system, otherwise called the "Hammy."
"She was dealing with hamstring issues," Arensdorf said. "They had seen literature on our product we developed in the last year or two that deals with that situation."
Stromgren shipped the "Hammy" to London using overnight delivery, but he has no idea if Suhr is using the compression garment.
"I have not had a conversation with anybody, how it worked, whether she even wore it," Arensdorf said. "I think with the issue she had, it should have worked unbelievable.
"The "Hammy" is a compression pant with neoprene in the back of the leg to hold body heat in. There is an adjustable strap, for the ideal pressure to put on the leg.
"It works," Arensdorf said. "You can wear it for any sport. It's designed to stabilize the hamstring muscles."
The preliminaries for women's pole vault is Saturday, with the finals Monday. Arensdorf plans to reach out to Suhr's representatives after the Olympics.
"We will be contacting them to see how it worked out," he said.
The company has had its products used in the past by Olympians, in part because a now-retired trainer for the U.S. squad liked them.
"It feels good, somebody of that level will use it," Arensdorf said. "I think it speaks to the quality of the things we design and what we manufacture here, just speaks to that quality of what we make and really does help an athlete."