High jumper Emma de Boer, who lives in Cloverdale and goes to Holy Cross Regional High School in Fleetwood, will train and study architecture at the University of Pennsylvania (UPenn) next fall. (submitted photo)

High jumper Emma de Boer, who lives in Cloverdale and goes to Holy Cross Regional High School in Fleetwood, will train and study architecture at the University of Pennsylvania (UPenn) next fall. (submitted photo)


Surrey jumper on a high after recruitment by UPenn track team

High jumper Emma de Boer aims to leave Cloverdale for Philadelphia next fall

Surrey’s Emma de Boer is aiming for new heights, now that she’s been recruited to an Ivy League school.

The champion high jumper plans to train and study at University of Pennsylvania (UPenn) next fall, following her current Grade 12 year at Holy Cross Regional High School.

De Boer is the top U18 female high jumper in Canada, with a jump of 1.72 metres during the B.C. high school track championships in 2019, when she was in Grade 10.

Years earlier, in elementary school, the Cloverdale-area resident was introduced to high jump by a teacher at A.J. McLellan Elementary, and she hasn’t looked back.

“I loved it immediately, right from the start – everything about it,” De Boer said. “Flying through the air over a bar like that is just amazing. I love it.”

Since then, she’s won multiple championships and has broken some records along the way.

(story continues below video)

“I am a very hard worker, and all of my current and past coaches would say that I have a very high work ethic and am very coachable,” De Boer says in a profile posted to the Next College Student Athlete website (ncsasports.org). “I also train all year round including weight training, plyometrics and gymnastics to assist me with my goals.… I am involved in the community by volunteering each year with my local Special Olympics track and field team and my own club’s young future track and field stars.”

De Boer, who turns 18 in February, trains with Ocean Athletics Track & Field Club in South Surrey.

Of course, the COVID-19 pandemic has stalled her training since last spring.

“Everything got shut down, so it was disappointing,” she said. “It’s been difficult, so I’m just getting back into it now.… There haven’t been any competitions since then, last spring. We’ve just recently been practicing again at (Ocean), and I’ve also been training on my own, too.”

She plans to study architecture at UPenn and hopes to live on campus in Philadelphia, if and when pandemic conditions allow.

“I’ve always liked to draw, and buildings fascinate me,” De Boer noted. “They have such a great architecture program that I wanted to go into, tons of resources, and also the track program has had really good success with their high jump program. I’m hoping to be there in the fall, to be there in person, otherwise it might just be online classes.”

• RELATED STORY: Record-setting Surrey athlete triple-jumps his way onto Purdue track team.


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