IN AN absolutely stunning display of athleticism, Leongatha’s Eleanor Patterson has set a new World Youth High Jump Record after clearing a staggering 1.96 metres at the Australian All Schools Championships in Townsville on Saturday.
The jump, a new personal best performance, smashed her own Australian U/18 record, that she set in Cairns two weeks ago and also bettered the Australian U/20 record, which previously stood at 1.93m.
The 1.96m performance gives Eleanor her second Commonwealth Games ‘A’ qualifier, her third World Junior Championships qualifier and also a World Indoor (senior) Championships qualifier.
So significant is the performance that Eleanor now moves to the outright World Number 1 in high jump for 2013 in the Under 20 and Under 18 age groups as well as being the Number 1 ranked high jumper in the Commonwealth in open competition.
Furthermore Patterson has now broken the eight Victorian records she set a fortnight ago, all over again.
In her in media interview with Athletics Australia after the competition Patterson was quick to praise her coach, David Green for her continued success.
“It’s all thanks to my coach. I wouldn’t be here without him. He has been coaching me for seven years and we are so used to each other. I would call him a friend and it’s so great to work with him so closely”, Patterson added.
How it unfolded
In hot and humid conditions Patterson entered the competition at 1.79m clearing with ease, likewise at 1.82m.
After her first clearance at 1.85m, Patterson had already won the competition. Setting the bar at 1.88m Patterson cleared on her first attempt to equal the Australian All Schools meet record.
Tiring in the hot conditions it took Eleanor three attempts to clear 1.92m before unleashing a massive leap at 1.94m on her first attempt. It was staggering to see the ease in which she cleared the bar.
The huge crowd that had gathered to watch were awe struck but the show didn’t stop there with Patterson having already smashed the meet record and the U/18 and U/20 Australian records.
The bar was then moved to 1.96m – the WORLD RECORD! The stadium was silent as all eyes were on Patterson, but she wouldn’t have known, such is her concentration.
Going through her familiar routine Patterson was fast and strong in her run up before clearing the bar at 1.96m. Eleanor initially thought she had knocked the bar off but when she heard the roar of the crowd and raised her head after landing, her expression was that of shock.
The bar was raised to 1.98m, the Australian Open record and the Oceania Region record, Patterson missed on her first attempt and was close to clearing on her attempt before failing on her third. The performance was staggering.
Also competing in the same competition was another South Coast athlete, Elinor Fraser, who placed 9th with a clearance of 1.60m.
In other Day Two results, Taylah Gardner placed 13th in the Women’s Under 16 Triple Jump with a performance of 10.52m and 10th in the Women’s under 16 High Jump with a clearance of 1.60m.
On Sunday, the last day of the Australian All Schools Championships, Mirboo North athlete, Wesley Graeme competed in the Men’s Under 16 High Jump placing 8th with a height of 1.85m.
Elinor Fraser was back at the track competing again, this time in the Under 18 Long Jump. Elinor placed a commendable 6th with a new personal best performance of 5.59m; a great effort.
Clearly the options now open up for Eleanor Paterson to compete at a higher level with the Commonwealth Games in particular looming, over 11 days in Glasgow, Scotland from July 23 to August 3.
The next summer Olympic Games will be held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil from August 5 to 21. It’s a dream that may be about to become a reality for yet another product of the Leongatha Little Athletics Club and Mary MacKillop Catholic Regional College.