Fleet high jumper Isobel Pooley believes she still has a way to go before she finds top form ahead of the Commonwealth Games – despite breaking the BUCS Gatorade Nationals record last Sunday.
Having been robbed of her entire 2013 indoor season due to a shin injury, Pooley was unable to defend her crown at last year’s championships.
But a long and winding road back to full fitness has reached its conclusion – and the 21-year-old proved why she is one of Great Britain’s rising stars with a 1.87m winning jump this time round.
It beat the previous record – set in 2005 – by 1cm and while the effort may have fell slightly short of her own lofty standards, Pooley believes the win is a milestone in her quest for Commonwealths success.
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“I’ve not had the best indoor season in terms of what I would have hoped to do, to come out and be a bit closer to 1.90 metres earlier on,” she said.
“But it doesn’t really matter in the long run as this is a gradual build-up for the summer, certainly with the Commonwealth Games I’ll be hoping to win a medal there. It’s really nice to know I’ve got this as a stepping stone.
“It was a really great experience at BUCS having been injured for the whole season last year – I had to watch from the sidelines, which at times was quite hard.
“But I think having competed now close to my best, I’ve had time to reflect and think about how much I enjoy doing this.
“To be back in front that type of crowd where I should be was a delightful experience and that can only be reflected in the height that I cleared being an equal season’s best.”
Pooley was joined among the medals over the weekend by former Winston Churchill School pupil Amy Allcock who took gold in the 400m race.
Meanwhile in the pool, there was further success with Yateley siblings and Commonwealth hopefuls Kathryn Willis and Andrew Willis both climbing the medal rostrum.
Younger sister Kathryn swam her way to silver in the 200m backstroke while London 2012 Olympian Andrew took gold in the 200m breaststroke.
And having struggled for form building up to the event, he admitted his time of 2:12.02minutes had come as a welcome boost for trying to make the team for Glasgow this summer.
“I was really happy with that swim, it puts me in a good place and gets some confidence back a little bit,” said 23-year-old Willis.
“I swam a few weeks back and wasn't in a very good place so coming here I just wanted to pick it up and swim a little bit quicker.
“It hurt towards the end there a little bit but I just wanted to work on my stroke and try and build it up.
“I went faster than I thought I was going to go so I was quite happy about that.
“We've got the Commonwealth trials in April so after this it's all recovery and bringing down the intensity a little bit.”