Cory Poole already had established himself as the best hurdler in the state and one of the best in the nation.
Now, the recent graduate who finished a magnificent East Orange Campus High School track and field career is one of the best in the entire world.
Poole, as part of Team USA, won the bronze medal in the 400-meter hurdles at the Pan American Junior Championships in Trujillo, Peru, July 21-23.
Poole ran 50.14 in the final on July 23 in a field of eight runners. USA teammate Quincy Hall won the gold medal in 49.02 and Fernando A Vega Felix of Mexico took the silver medal in 49.96.
In the semifinals the previous day, Poole won his heat in 51.58.
This past spring in the high school season, Poole won both 110-meter hurdles and 400-meter intermediate hurdles at the NJSIAA state Meet of Champions for the second straight year. The University of Florida-bound Poole also set state records in both events. He broke the 110-meter state mark at the Super Essex Conference-American Division Championship in May with a time of 13.36. Following the high school season, Poole shattered the 400-meter intermediate hurdles state mark at the USATF Junior Nationals in Sacramento, Calif. In June with a time of 49.88.
Poole also was honored as the Gatorade State Boys Track and Field Athlete of the Year for the second straight year.
EOCHS head coach Lance Wigfall accompanied Poole to Peru.
The following is a Question and Answer interview with Poole while he was in Peru:
Q: How do you feel about representing your country at the Pan American Games?
A: I feel elite. It’s feels good to have USA on your chest and being noticed as one of the best .
Q: Being that it’s been two years. since you made a US Team, what is the goal for you since the team goal is to come out on top?
A: My personal goal on this team is to medal because I know now I have the ability to and possibly PR (personal record) again as well.
Q: What is your biggest accomplishment in high school?
A: Biggest accomplishment in high school is my 49.88 (he ran that at US Juniors in Sacramento) for a new state record
Q: If you could think of one quick goal being an incoming freshman at the University of Florida, what would it be?
A: Besides making sure I keep my grades up,My goal as an incoming freshman at UF is to just place at conference and NCAA in both hurdles
Q: Fun fact: what do you listen to the day of a meet to keep you in the zone as well as relaxed?
A: The day of the meet I listen to Kanye West
Q: If there was anything you can say to the upcoming classmates/ teammates back at East Orange Campus HS, what would it be to encourage them for the upcoming school year and years to come?
A: To my teammates back home and up-and-coming, I would just tell them to just trust the process because whether they know it or not, their time is coming. It may not come at the time they want it but it will come, but just believe in your training.
Q: How does it feel knowing that you placed third overall here in Trujillo,Peru at the 2017 U20 Pan American Games in the 400 hurdles?
A: It’s a relief and good feeling to have accomplished what I came for.