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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Athlete of the Week: Gabriella Duclos

    During her time off this weekend, UA pole-vaulter Gabriella Duclos, who recently broke her personal record Saturday at the UTEP Invitational, plans to do a lot of cooking, including making quiche for teammate Antoine Cason.
    During her time off this weekend, UA pole-vaulter Gabriella Duclos, who recently broke her personal record Saturday at the UTEP Invitational, plans to do a lot of cooking, including making quiche for teammate Antoine Cason.

    Editors note: Sophomore Gabriella Duclos broke her own personal record and the Canadian junior record in the pole vault with her jump of 4.15 meters Saturday at the UTEP Invitational. Duclos won four of the five meets in the outdoor season, coming in second April 6-7 at the Texas Relays. The Wildcat caught up with Duclos to talk about breaking records, trips to India and quiche for Antoine Cason.

    Wildcat: You set your personal record last weekend with a new technique that involves closing your eyes as you jump, how long have you been practicing this technique?

    Duclos: I’ve been trying to do it for a long time. The goal of pole vaulting is shooting for the sky. I try to (invert my body); the only way I can do that is if I close my eyes. I don’t do that always, because it’s kind of scary.

    W: So this is just a temporary technique for you?

    D: Yeah, I just want to try to get inverted without seeing the bar.

    W: How did it feel to set your personal record and the Canadian junior record?

    D: It feels good, but it’s not that big of a deal because I know I can still beat it and break my own record. It’s good because it proves to my country, Canada, that I’m a good athlete. I’ve been traveling a lot with team Canada to Morocco for the World Youth (Championships) and to China for the World Junior (Championships).

    W: Are you going to continue with the Canadian junior team this summer?

    D: This summer I’ll be in Brazil for the Pan-Am Junior (Championships) with junior team Canada.

    W: What has UA jumps/multievents coach Sheldon Blockburger helped you out the most with?

    D: Everything, just getting stronger, getting faster, he’s always yelling at me to run faster.

    W: Blockburger tends to speak a little looser than the rest of the coaching staff. What’s been your most interesting moment with him?

    D: For this past competition (the UTEP Invitational) he said, “”All of my athletes for the past 20 years, since I’ve been coming to El Paso have (set a personal record), so Gabriella, it’s your day.”” I was kinda under pressure, but I (set a personal record).

    W: Anything else he says?

    D: He always says, “”Don’t respect the pole.””

    W: How often do you go back to Quebec City?

    D: Not often, once a year, only during the summer, and it’s like for two weeks. My summers are so busy because I have to travel with Team Canada, and I have to make my junior nationals and senior nationals.

    W: Did you go back in the winter?

    D: No, actually I went to India. That wasn’t a good idea at all because I was doing real good in my training before winter and in the preseason. In India I did nothing for three weeks.

    W: Why did you go to India?

    D: I went with my family because my brother is a tennis player. He was playing two tennis tournaments over there.

    W: What do you miss most about Canada?

    D: I miss my close friends, I also miss the bars, because in Quebec (the legal age) is 18 years old to go out. I don’t drink, but just to go out and dance with friends. It’s a good time. Here you have to look for a house party, and sometimes it doesn’t work.

    W: What’s the biggest difference between Quebec and Arizona?

    D: The biggest difference is the weather. It’s so amazing here; it makes my day every day. Also the language; they don’t speak French.

    W: If you could change one thing about a track and field meet, what would it be?

    D: I would move the pole vault into the street or into the (UA) Mall. It’s always nice to have a big crowd watching you.

    W: Who’s your most interesting teammate and why?

    D: Nick Mossberg because he’s funny.

    W: He told me to ask you what you sound like to other people from a distance.

    D: He said I sound like this (sings “”do-ba-do-ba-doop-a-dee-doo”” and laughs). I don’t know why, I guess because of my accent.

    W: This is your first weekend off in quite a while. What are you going to do with your free time?

    D: I’m going to cook a lot. I’m crazy about cooking. Antoine Cason is always asking me, “”Gabriella, where’s my quiche?”” You can tell him Gabriella has your quiche waiting for you.

    – As told to Justin Adler

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