EAST ORANGE, NJ – Cory Poole showed he is one of the best hurdlers in his age group in the entire world.
That’s not a misprint.
The entire world.
The 2017 East Orange Campus High School graduate finished in sixth place out of eight competitors in the 110-meter hurdles finals at the International Association of Athletics Federation World U20 Track & Field Championships held at Tampere, Finland on July 12.
Poole, a rising sophomore at the University of Florida, was clocked in 13.74. Damion Thomas (13.16) and Orlando Bennett (13.33) finished 1-2 for Jamaica, followed by Japan’s Shunsuke Izumiya in 13.38; Belgium’s Michael Obasuyi in 13.45, and Great Britain’s Jason Nicholson in 13.62.
Poole advanced after winning his semifinal heat in 13.68 on July 11 on the second day of the Championships.
Poole also competed in the 400-meter hurdles on July 12, winning his heat in the preliminaries in 52.12. The next day, Poole finished third in his semifinal heat in 51.27, just missed qualifying for the final. The top two finishers in each heat, and the next two fastest finishers, qualified for the final.
Poole enjoyed a magnificent career at EOCHS. He won the 110-meter hurdles and 400-meter hurdles for two straight years at the NJSIAA Outdoor State Meet of Champions as a junior and senior in 2016 and 2017, setting the MOC record in the 400 hurdles in 2017 in 50.72.
Poole also is the current state record holder in both events. He ran 13.46 to set the 110 hurdles state record at the Super Essex Conference Championships on May 15, 2017. He clocked 50.14 to set the state record in the 400 hurdles at the Pan American Junior Championships, July 21-23, 2017.
Poole qualified for the World Championships after becoming the third man in history to sweep the 110 hurdles and 400 hurdles gold medals at the USATF Outdoor Junior Championships held at Indiana University, June 15-17.
During his freshman season at the University of Florida, Poole finished ninth at the NCAA Outdoor Championships preliminaries, becoming the first Florida freshman to qualify since Kerron Clement in 2004. He also was the third Division 1 freshman since 2002 to qualify for the NCAA Outdoors in both hurdles events.
Prior to the NCAAs, he was the bronze medalist in the 400 hurdles and took fourth place in the 110 hurdles at the Southeastern Conference (SEC) Outdoor Championships and was the third freshman since 2005 with top-four finishes in both hurdles events at SEC Outdoors.
During the indoor season, Poole placed seventh in the 60-meter hurdles and helped Florida’s distance medley relay to a fourth-place finish at the SEC Championships.