Crossley’s high flyer
A few months after being introduced to pole vault in gym class, E.L. Crossley’s Adam Freure found himself at the top of the provincial podium.
After recording victories at the Niagara Region High School Athletic Association Zone 3, Southern Ontario Secondary Schools Association and Ontario Federation of School Athletic Associations South Regional meets, the 14-year-old Fonthill resident won the novice boys division at OFSAA in Ottawa with a jump of 3.35 metres. The leap matched his personal best.
“They set it up one day, I tried it and I really liked it. The track coach (Maryann Mergl) was there and recommended I come out and try it.”
It was love at first flight for Freure, who had previously played all sports with a focus on hockey and baseball.
“I liked it a lot that gym class. I had intended on trying it before because I had heard that Crossley had a pole vault program. It sounded really interesting,” the Grade 9 student said. “Once I tried it out in gym class, I really wanted to go out to the track practices.”
He is a fan of all aspects of the sport.
“I love flying through the air and I love the training aspect of it. When you are training for pole vault, there is always something you can improve on, if that is swinging or driving. You are always getting better.”
Some people are terrified to try pole vaulting but not Freure.
“I find it pretty safe so long as you know what you are doing.”
Winning an OFSAA gold medal in his first year of the sport was not something Freure expected. It was a big moment when the gold medal was placed around his neck.
“I was really relieved that all of my training had paid off. It almost became an obsession. I was going to school and I was thinking about pole vault every day,” he said. “I was thinking about training, how to get better and having that gold medal displayed all the hard work that I put in this season.”
He was motivated by his coaches, his friends and his family.
“My coaches put a ton of effort in and having them there was a lot of fun.”
That effort paid off with a lot of improvement, both physically and mentally.
“I improved my confidence a lot going into competition. Everything within pole vaulting, you are always improving. You can’t be perfect at the sport and you are always chasing perfection that you can’t get. But it is a lot of fun to chase.”
Freure has no plans to stop pole vaulting just because the high school season has come to its conclusion.
“There are some training spots in Hamilton that a few kids from Crossley go to and I am looking forward to maybe training there this summer.”
He hasn’t set any long-term goals for the sport.
“I am thinking one year at a time and just getting better. It is a sport I love and it is something that I want to keep doing.”