YOUNG Horsham Blue Stars pole Vaulter Jade Brewster is on top of the world after adding the South of England Under-17 indoor title to the national Under-15 title she won last year.
Competing at Lee Valley on Sunday, the 14 year old initially struggled using a new stiffer pole for the first time, only clearing her opening height of 3m at the third attempt.
After overcoming the early hurdle she quickly settled down and first time clearances at 3.10m and 3.20m ensured her victory before another first time clearance at 3.40m gave her a new personal best and took her to the top of the national Under-17 rankings.
“I was so happy and to get a new pb as well made it even better,” said Tanbridge House student Jade. “I found it difficult early on with the new pole but once I cleared the first height I felt good and was really pleased.
“It was only my second competition at Under-17 level so it’s great to get my first medal.”
Jade had a crack at the Sussex record of 3.52m but just fell short, but she hopes to jump close to 3.70m by the end of the year.
Now the Broadbridge Heath based youngster, who won a ‘Set4Success’ place last year, has just five weeks before the National Championships to familiarise herself with the new pole. Her top ranking at U17 level, despite being one of the youngest, means she will go into the competition as one of the favourites, but she says she is excited by the challenge.
Her Blue Stars coach Mick Cole said: “Jade is very easy to coach and has to be restrained rather than persuaded to train. She performs well under pressure, performing at her best in the major competitions.
“Jade is maturing into a very responsible athlete willing to ignore short term goals for her long term objectives.
“Two years ago we set up flexible long term objectives for her and she is matching them almost exactly.
“To win last weekend was a bonus because although she achieved her expected height I did not expect that to be sufficient to win bearing in mind this is her first year in this age group and she is a year younger than many of her rivals.”