Science student wins Halberg Emerging Talent

22 February 2016
Eliza McCartney pole vault 2
Halberg Emerging Talent award winner, pole vaulter, Eliza McCartney in action.

University of Auckland science student and champion pole vaulter, Eliza McCartney won the Emerging Talent award at last week’s Halberg Awards for her sporting achievements in 2015.

Eliza won the World Junior Pole Vault record in December and holds all the age group and senior New Zealand records for women’s pole vault.

In January she improved on her world junior record with a jump of 4.65m to add to her New Zealand senior record.

Eliza is just the third female New Zealand athlete to get a medal at the IAAF World Junior Championships. She went on to win the Silver Medal at the World University Games.

The SKY NEXT Emerging Talent award includes a $10,000 sporting scholarship. The award is designed to identify and assist a young athlete in the quest to become an Olympic, Paralympic and/or World Champion and was hotly contested by track cyclist Campbell Stewart, basketball player Tai Wynyard, and UOA Business student, trampolinist Dylan Schmidt.

“This is an exciting acknowledgement for Eliza, who is one of New Zealand’s brightest young sporting talents, and the University is very proud of her achievements,” says the University’s Director of Sport and Recreation, Louis Rattray.

“Winning Silver at the World University games followed up by a world record, indicates Eliza is preparing well for the world’s biggest stage, the Olympics, later in the year. The University wishes her the best in her training and competition and will follow her progress with interest,” he says.

Eliza currently holds every national pole vault record - from the Women’s Under-17 record of 4.11m, Under-18 record of 4.45m, Under -19 record of 4.50m and Under -20 record of 4.64m,to the Senior Women’s record of 4.65m.

These latest jumps qualify her for the Rio 2016 Olympics where she has her sights set on placing in the top eight (where she will be just 19 years old), and on becoming the first New Zealand pole vaulter to get a medal in future Olympic Games.

Eliza has shown the ability to compete at her best at major events with personal bests and New Zealand records achieved when it matters.
This week Eliza will compete in two important meetings against two-times Commonwealth pole vault champion Alana Boyd from Australia who recently extended her Australian record to 4.77m.

The two top vaulters will be competing at the Vertical Pursuit pole vault meet at AUT Millennium Stadium, Rosedale on Tuesday 23 February starting at 6.30pm and again on Thursday 25 February at Douglas Track and Field, The Trusts Stadium, Waitakere as part of the Auckland Track Challenge extravaganza.

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