Vault­ing to new heights

The Glengarry News - - Front Page -

BY SEAN BRAY Sports Edi­tor In set­ting a new per­sonal best in com­pe­ti­tion, 19- year- old Bren­nan Seguin, who hails from Mart­in­town, gar­nered gold at the na­tional univer­sity track and field meet, last week­end in Man­i­toba.

The stu­dent- athlete at the Univer­sity of Guelph grad­u­ated last June from Char-Lan DHS, in Wil­liamstown. It was there that his in­ter­est in pole vault­ing took hold and his skill was honed, un­der coach Rory Black­ad­der, who couldn’t be more proud of Seguin’s break­through.

“His com­pet­i­tive­ness and ath­leti­cism are sec­ond to none. I know Bren­nan and his coach [ James Sni­a­tenchuk of the Gryphons pro­gram] have worked re­ally hard this year, and it has cer­tainly paid off, based on the re­sults.

“It was an in­cred­i­ble ex­pe­ri­ence watch­ing a for­mer athlete break the 5-me­tre bar­rier and win the na­tional cham­pi­onship in his fresh­man year.

“I am so glad that ev­ery­thing worked out for Bren­nan at the Univer­sity of Guelph. I’m ex­cited to see what he will ac­com­plish in the next cou­ple of years.”

Seguin en­tered the March 9 com­pe­ti­tion as the OUA (On­tario) bronze medal­list, hav­ing cleared 4.81 me­tres. Western’s Dan Glea­son nabbed gold (4.86 m).

Both vaulters im­proved their marks at the na­tional (U-Sports) meet, with Glea­son top­ping out at 4.90 m for bronze.

Spencer Allen, from the Univer­sity of Al­berta, took sil­ver, clear­ing 4.95 m.

Af­ter Seguin cleared 5 m on his first at­tempt, the bar was moved up to 5.05 m. Allen took three cracks at that height, but was un­able to have a clean jump, se­cur­ing gold for the Gryphon.

Seguin ad­mits to some nerves head­ing into the com­pe­ti­tion, say­ing he was more ner­vous than at past meets and prac­tice ses­sions. How­ever, once he got onto the run­way and warmed up, he was ready to go – all busi­ness.

De­spite it be­ing a com­pe­ti­tion, the teen notes that the at­mos­phere “was amaz­ing” with plenty of sup­port from other vaulters and his Guelph track and field team­mates. (Guelph won the over­all U-Sports cham­pi­onship, as well as the men’s and women’s ban­ners.)

Re­flect­ing back to his start in the sport in high school, Seguin says he re­calls he and other vaulters jok­ing around that some­day they would love to clear 5 me­tres, never re­ally ex­pect­ing to achieve it.

When he did, on Satur­day, he says he was in shock.

A video of his jump, in­clud­ing his re­ac­tion, can be viewed on our web­site.

The Mart­in­town na­tive’s fa­ther and step-mother were in at­ten­dance, mak­ing the ac­com­plish­ment all the more spe­cial.

Seguin, who’s study­ing so­ci­ol­ogy at Guelph, says that he got to spend a lit­tle time with his fam­ily, be­fore cel­e­brat­ing with team­mates. He’s now en­joy­ing a week off from train­ing, but notes he will get right back into his rou­tine next week, as he aims to qual­ify in at least one of sev­eral com­pe­ti­tions, in­clud­ing the U23 North Amer­i­can track and field meet ( in Mex­ico), the World Univer­sity Games (in Italy), and the Pan-Am Games (in Peru).

On his suc­cess this sea­son at Guelph, he thanks his pole vault­ing coach, Sni­a­tenchuk, and Gryphons track and field team head coach Dave Scott-Thomas, who was named U-Sports Coach of the Year.

Black­ad­der con­tin­ues to train lo­cal pole vaulters, in­clud­ing at Char-Lan DHS.

When asked for his ad­vice to young ath­letes tak­ing up the sport, Seguin says he en­cour­ages them not to give up, to keep try­ing, and keep work­ing at it.


NA­TIONAL PODIUM: Mart­in­town’s Bren­nan Seguin, cen­tre, is flanked by Spencer Allen, left, and Dan Glea­son, atop the podium at the U-Sports pole vault awards cer­e­mony.

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