Pole vaulter Eliza McCartney has reached new heights, and is now setting her sights on even loftier targets.
McCartney cleared her best ever height of 4.90 metres at the Vertical Pursuit in Auckland today – eight centimetres higher than the personal best she set last year.
While it won't officially count as a New Zealand record because the run-up at the outdoor event didn't meet international standards, McCartney is still excited at what her jump represents.
"We knew going into it that it wouldn't be completely legal, but still being able to jump a 4.90 bar, regardless of what the run-up setup is like, that's still awesome."
McCartney later attempted to clear the elusive five metre mark but couldn't clear it after three tries. Only two women have ever cleared five metres – Yelena Isinbayeva and Sandi Morris – but McCartney's coach, Jeremy McColl, believes she can soon become the third.
"It's only a matter of time before it clicks, she can jump a lot higher than that. She's going to fly – I wouldn't put it past her jumping five metres pretty soon."
The 21-year-old McCartney is also looking ahead to reaching the five metre mark as he ramps up her preparation for the Commonwealth Games.
"To actually have a crack at it in competition – I don't think I've ever done that before. That's what I'm working towards, that's the goal, if I can get it this year, that'd be awesome.
"I'm feeling so good, everything was clicking really well – what we've been working on in training is coming through. It was so nice to get a look at the really big heights that I've never jumped at before."
The Olympic bronze medalist won the event with ease, with second place going to USA's Morgann Leleux, who cleared 4.35m.
McCartney is thrilled to be back competing at a high level after struggling with injury throughout 2017.
"It was a tough year last year – I wasn't even sure that I'd be competing at the moment. The fact that we were able to fast track through my rehab - I'm so glad I'm able to have a real build-in to the Commonwealth Games and not just winging it."
She has a chance to set an official new record next Sunday, at the Sir Graeme Douglas International Track Challenge, before heading to the Gold Coast to try and become the first female New Zealander to win a Commonwealth Games pole vault medal.