By Joel van der Veen
HANLEY — Flinging your body around with the help of a long, narrow pole might seem daunting, but fortunately it gets easier with time.
“It can be a bit scary hurling yourself into the air, I guess,” said Jadyn Reiber, a pole vaulter and a Grade 10 student at Hanley Composite School.
“It was hard at first . . . Once you get over the fear factor, then it gets a lot easier and your confidence grows.”
Having won two provincial bronze medals in two years, Reiber knows what she’s talking about.
She won bronze in the midget girls pole vault last year, with a height of 1.90 metres.
On June 3, she repeated the feat, increasing her height to 2.25 metres. Both years, she was the only Hanley athlete to return home from provincials with a medal.
Reiber said she participates in other events but has focused on the pole vault in the last couple of years.
“Honestly, I’d see people doing it and I thought that it would be kind of fun,” she recalled.
She and other rural students practised at the field house on the University of Saskatchewan campus once a week, giving them an opportunity they might not otherwise have at smaller schools.
In recent weeks Reiber has been suffering from a virus, which weakened her somewhat on the day of the event. She said she’s still curious to know how she would have done had she been in perfect health.
“I was hoping to do better, but that didn’t happen,” she said, adding, “I’m happy with the way it turned out.”
She has avoided injury so far in her pole vaulting career, though she had a close call while warming up at provincials this year when the mat was harder than she expected.
“My first jump was kind of a surprise,” she said. “I kneed myself in the face.”
Reiber plays volleyball at school and has also played on various club teams. Her other sports include curling and badminton.
“I do pretty much everything the school has to offer,” she said.
With a couple of years to go, she plans to continue her efforts on the field, with the aim of improving her results and perhaps taking home a silver or gold.
“A lot of the girls do club track in the city,” said Reiber. “I think if I push myself, I can hopefully reach that goal.”
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