TRAINING: Pole vaulter Lisa Campbell at the University of the Sunshine Coast.
TRAINING: Pole vaulter Lisa Campbell at the University of the Sunshine Coast. John McCutcheon

Vaulter to jump with joy after rapid rise to selection

TRACK & FIELD: She's come from the clouds to earn a place in the national team and now Lisa Campbell's intent on savouring every moment of her experience on the Gold Coast.

The 25-year-old pole vaulter admits she was virtually unknown on the pole vaulting scene last year, when she was just getting over 3.80m.

But she has since found her groove with Ray Boyd at the University of the Sunshine Coast, snaring a personal best of 4.25m and scaling 4.40m at training sessions.

As a result, she was suddenly pitched into the Australian team.

It will be her first foray on a significant international stage and she knows how to approach it.

"Being on the Commonwealth Games team is a dream come true. You can't do anything but enjoy it really,” she said.

"Yes, there's a lot more pressure and it's a home Games and there's all of these things going on but if you're not enjoying it then what are you doing?

"I love pole vaulting and I love doing this and I haven't been doing it long so it's about enjoying it and lapping up the environment and really just doing my best on the day.”

Campbell grew up in the Northern Territory, with an interest in athletics, before moving to Brisbane for university.

She started to focus on pole vault only a few years ago but has quickly become accustomed to it and is improving at a rapid rate.

She's had limited time competing against other elite pole vaulters, so welcomed the action at the International Invitational Meet at the University of the Sunshine Coast on Saturday.

A handful of athletes from Europe also took to the runway there, with the wind at their backs.

Campbell managed to clear 4.20m.

"I jumped close to a PB and that's all you can really ask for in a comp,” she said. "Jumping with those girls was incredible. They were all so supportive and lovely people and it's great to be in that atmosphere with people who are jumping at the same level as you.

"Because when I'm jumping by myself I don't really get that, so it's awesome to have those competitors around.

"For me, it was more about getting that experience with these girls and getting used to being in that environment, that was the biggest thing for me.”

Campbell starts her campaign on April 13.



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