Martintown’s Brennan Seguin is a national champion.
Seguin was competing at the U-18 Legion National Youth Track and Field Championships in Blainville, Que., and the just-turned 17-year-old took the gold medal in pole vault.
Seguin jumped 4.35 metres to win the event, with athletes from every province represented at the competition.
“It’s an amazing accomplishment,” said Rory Blackadder, Seguin’s coach.
Seguin vaulted in Quebec under the new local club — the Blackadder Pole Vault Club.
And he was at the Legion Nationals for the first time.
“It was all pretty cool, the (facilities) were really good,” said the teenager who took centre stage on the podium for the event, with Ontario rival Nojah Parker, of Woodstock, second, and Sherbrooke’s Gabriel Pelletier collecting the bronze medal.
Seguin, ranked 25th out of all vaulters at any level in Canada, has been an accomplished pole vaulter for several years at Char-Lan District High School in Williamstown, and, according to his coach, the ceiling in the sport is high for him.
“He’s a dedicated and exceptionally gifted athlete,” said Blackadder, who’s been coaching Seguin for two years. “He has tremendous support from both of his parents.”
Seguin was hoping to clear 4.65 metres at the event in Blainville in order to qualify for the world youth championships.
That didn’t happen, and, as coach Blackadder said, “he’ll keep trying in the weeks to come.”
When asked about his long-term goal in the sport, Seguin indicated he’s just going to take things as they come, and Goal One is to get to 4.65 m.
“I’ve just been looking at that,” he said. “I guess (over the longer time period), I’d like to be an over five-metre jumper, but there’s quite a way to go before that.”
The high school track and field season next spring is something to make note of, with Seguin — heading into Grade 12 in a few weeks — expected to have a big finish to his high school career, and hopefully at 4.65 m by then.
“With our eastern region holding (the provincials, OFSAA, in Belleville), Brennan (will be considered) a heavy favourite to win the senior boys vault next year,” Blackadder said.
Part of the training leading up to all of that has Seguin competing this winter against university athletes in a variety of meets, including at St. Lawrence University in Canton, N.Y., McGill, the Ottawa University and University of Toronto.
Seguin’s progress at the high school provincials has been well-documented, his 3.30-m leap in Grade 9 that was good for gold, and his first-place OFSAA finish the following spring, too, with a jump of 4.05-m in Grade 10.
This past spring, Seguin was a senior for the first time, and he captured the bronze medal at OFSAA with a 4.40-m jump, a mark that has him ranked 25th out of all vaulters in the country, including university-level and senior/Olympic competitors.