Athletics High Schools

Daniel Adeleye mirrors older brother’s path into hurdling, varsity track

By Dan Plouffe

Following in the footsteps of his older brother David, Daniel Adeleye plans to become the second university track-and-field athlete in his family this fall, and there may well be a third sibling ready join them in a few years’ time.

The family tradition began somewhat unexpectedly when David, a runningback for the Ashbury College Colts football team, started sprinting in hopes of gaining some extra gridiron speed. Midway through high school he was encouraged by an Ottawa Lions Track-and-Field Club coach to try hurdling, and by the time he entered Grade 12, David had won a national youth title.

COVID interrupted the next couple seasons, but David continued compiling accolades once competition resumed. The University of Toronto Varsity Blues athlete won 2022 Canada Summer Games gold (4×100-metre relay) and silver (110 m hurdles) medals and placed fourth at this season’s Canadian university championships in his third year (60 m hurdles). He’s also been selected to compete in the 2023 NACAC under-23 continental championships July 21-31 in San Jose, Costa Rica.

Seeing all the success his older brother’s had on the track, Daniel figured it might be a good sport to get into himself.

“He’s the one who really inspired me to try it,” highlights Daniel, who also played runningback for the football Colts.

Daniel enjoyed a solid high school track season this spring, excelling in the senior boys’ 110 m hurdles in particular. He won the east conference and city and championships before adding the east regional title – one crown his older brother didn’t get. Back home for his summer break from university, David got to watch Daniel’s OFSAA qualifier victory live at Terry Fox Athletic Facility.

“(David)’s been helping me a lot,” notes Daniel, who went on to place third in his heat at the OFSAA provincials en route to a 12th-place finish overall. “At the track, he helps me with my technique and my form and he encourages me at home too.”

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The Adeleye family moved to Ottawa from London, England when Daniel was younger, and now he’s headed back to London, but in Ontario, to study at Western University, where he plans to run track for the Mustangs and potentially race against David.

“I guess you could call us rivals now,” smiles Daniel, “but he still helps me anyway.”

There is a third Adeleye excelling on the track, though of the three events younger sister Deborah competed in at OFSAA, the sprint hurdles weren’t one of them. The Grade 10 Ashbury student missed qualifying for the junior girls’ 80 m hurdles provincials by .02 seconds, though she did make the grade for long jump (placing seventh provincially), triple jump (18th) and 4×100 m (10th).

“Now I’m trying to help her out too, showing her what I’ve learned,” signals Daniel.

Several Lions headed on to NCAA/U Sports teams

Daniel is one of numerous Ottawa Lions athletes who have plans to become varsity athletes this fall.

Ottawa Lions runners Louise Stonham is headed to California State University at Long Beach. Photo: Sean Burges / Mundo Sport Images

Steeplechase specialist Louise Stonham is headed the farthest of the bunch. Just as winter hit last November, the OFSAA open girls’ 2,000 m steeplechase champion finalized her plans to study and run for California State University at Long Beach.

“It’s crazy to be leaving in a couple of months, but I’m really excited,” says Stonham, who is looking forward to racing at the July 27-30 Canadian Championships in Langley, B.C. before heading straight down the west coast for her rookie NCAA season.

Also headed south of the border is distance runner Amelia Van Brabant, an Earl of March Secondary School grad set to attend Boston College.

Daniel Adeleye will have company at Western in John McCrae grad Zachary Theodore, who excels in the 400 m runner – the same event as John McCrae grad Nolan Legare, who will attend Queen’s University.

Read More in our 2023 High School Best Series, presented by Louis-Riel Sports-Études, as we tip our caps to top local student-athletes at:

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