Athletics: Pole-vault stars go head-to-head at Vertical Pursuit

Eliza McCartney of New Zealand clears the bar. Photo / Getty Images
Eliza McCartney of New Zealand clears the bar. Photo / Getty Images

Trans-Tasman pole vault stars Eliza McCartney and Alana Boyd will go head-to-head at the Vertical Pursuit in Auckland on Tuesday night.

McCartney and Boyd take centre stage for the event, which is held at the Millennium Institute on Auckland's North Shore as a precursor to Thursday's Auckland Track Challenge.

Big things are expected of 19-year-old Kiwi McCartney, who shot to prominence with a world junior record set in December last year at Mt Smart Stadium in Auckland. She has spent time training with the 31-year-old Boyd over summer and is eager to edge her rival on home soil.

"Tomorrow is a bit of a build-up really," McCartney tells "It is an opening for the new mats that we have at the Millennium Institute and we have some Australians coming over as well so it is a bit of fun as well.

"We are a lot better friends now and it was good spending time with her on the Sunshine Coast training and competing over there with her but as always in competition we are both focussed on our own thing so it is a lot more competitive.

"She has been to the Olympics and won gold medals at the Commonwealth Games so she has certainly got a lot of advice she can tell me. She is lovely and her family is lovely and they certainly were very helpful and supportive when I was over there.

"I beat her in one of the competitions and she beat me in the other two times. It is good that she is a little bit higher than me because it pushes me further to beat her."

The event begins at 6.30pm at the Millennium Institute Stadium.

"It is going to be a really great night," McCartney says. "There is food and music and it should be a fun night. It will be a good way to get pole vault out there to the community."

- NZ Herald

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