Athletic power

University of Manitoba Bisons athlete Emily Blackner, who lives in St. Andrews, is all smiles as she flexes her biceps muscle after competing in the womenÕs pole vault at the 2019 Bison Classic at the James Daly Fieldhouse at the University of Manitoba on Feb. 2. (Brook Jones/Selkirk Journal/Postmedia Network)

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Emily Blackner is taking her love for pole valuting to a higher level.
The St. Andrews residents is a member of the University of Manitoba Bisons Track & Field Team. She has made a smooth transition from gymnastics into the world of track and field.

The five-foot-nine athlete, who moved from the sport of gymnastics to track & field is a relative newcomer to pole vaulting is already tasting success.
“I was tall for a gymnast,” Blackner said. “It was a little bit difficult learning how to run with a pole.”

At the 2019 edition of the Bison Classic at the James Daly Fieldhouse at the University of Manitoba, Blackner placed second with a best jump of 3.85 metres. She told The Selkirk Journal that having the home town crowd really help her perform well.

“I would love to go over four metres,” she noted.
The 21-year-old athlete, who is a West Kildonan Collegiate graduate, said she loves being part of the Bison Track & Field team and that it’s a great atmospher.
According to her pole vault coach Scott Dressler, Blackner took off right away in the sport and have been excelling ever since.

“She’s unusually tall for most gymnasts so that was to our benefit and we took that and ran with that,” Dressler said, who is the one of the Bisons jumps coaches. “Being a gymnast is definitely an asset.”