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Mark Janzen, Assistant Sports Information Director

December 17, 2013, LANGLEY, British Columbia (ISN) – Trinity Western’s track and field team took an impressive leap forward in the pole vault pit as Laurier Primeau officially announced the signing of national youth champion and defending OFSAA (Ontario Federation of School Athletic Associations) gold medalist Emma Li (Markham, Ont.) Wednesday.

The 5-foot-5 Li, who will graduate from Bill Crothers Secondary in 2014, captured the pole vault gold medal at the 2013 Legion Canadian Youth Championships in Langley and also represented Canada at the 2013 IAAF World Youth Championships in Donetsk, Ukraine.

Li, who competes with The Speed Academy Athletics Club where she is coached by Patrick Russell, has a personal best vault of 3.70m and also has a PB of 8.97 in the 60m hurdles.

By comparison, a vault of 3.70m at last year’s Canada West championships would have placed her fourth overall, while a time of 8.97 in the 60m hurdles would have had her in in seventh place.

“We welcome to TWU our first OFSAA champion in Emma Li,” Primeau said. “Anyone who follows Canadian high school track and field understands the depth and competitive environment that is the Ontario high school championships and for Emma to have prevailed in Grade 11 is indicative of her high level of achievement.

“The Speed Academy has an emphasis on using sport as a vehicle for a better future for the athletes they work with and a big piece of that is connecting high school athletes with the post-secondary institution that best fits their needs. We feel that Emma is a perfect fit for TWU. She not only has an accomplished sporting resume, but she also brings a grounding in her faith and a 3.7 entrance grade point average to TWU. We look forward to working with Emma and are blessed to be entrusted with her athletic, academic and spiritual development over the next five years.”

Li, who plans to study human kinetics, said: “I believe TWU will provide me with a good academic preparation for a future career. I believe TWU will help me reach my athletic goals and help me grow spiritually.”

Since October, TWU has now signed nine athletes who plan to begin university competition in 2014-15. Along with Li, the Spartans have added long jumper Andrew de Visser (Vancouver), heptathletes Robyn Wear (Gimlin, Man.) and Hannah Beaton (Langley), sprinters Jordyn Piercy (Victoria), Madison Evans (Calgary) and Andrew de Groot (Nanaimo, B.C.) and distance runners Caleb de Jong (Winnipeg) and Michelle Schubert (Yakima, Wash.).