Road To The Olympic Games

Alysha Newman breaks Canadian pole vault record

Alysha Newman lept to a new Canadian record Saturday in the women's pole vault, clearing four metres, 60 centimetres to also finish the day atop the NCAA season rankings and with a new Atlantic Coast Conference record.

Vaulter currently ranked 4th in the world

Alysha Newman pole vaults during a competition at the University of Miami on April 9. She broke the Canadian record with a jump of four metres and 60 centimetres. (Miami Athletics)

Alysha Newman leaped to a new Canadian record Saturday in the women's pole vault, clearing four metres and 60 centimetres to also finish the day atop the NCAA rankings and with a new Atlantic Coast Conference record.

"I couldn't have asked for a better performance in front of my family and friends on Senior Day," said Newman after the competition. "Everything from the coaching, to the trainers to the conditions went perfectly and set me up to have a big day."

Newman, a Delaware, Ont., native, registered the height at a University of Miami home meet in Coral Gables, Fla., where she's a senior with the Hurricanes.

The jump ranks Newman fourth in the world this year.

The previous record of 4.55 was set by Kelsie Hendry in 2008. Hendry finished bronze at the 2010 Commonwealth Games, a feat Newman matched four years later at the 2014 Games.

'All of my hard work is paying off'

"All of my hard work is paying off and a day like today just gives me more motivation heading into the rest of the outdoor season," Newman said. "I can't wait to see what else is in store for me and my teammates."

The 21-year-old has had a strong start to the season, adding 19 centimetres to her personal best. Heading into 2016, she held a best of 4.41 from 2014.

The jump is also above the 4.50-metre standard to attend the upcoming Rio Games. Newman will need to finish on the podium at the Canadian track and field championships this summer to be named to the Olympic team.

Newman is the not the only Canadian in recent years to have success in the NCAA. Shawnacy Barber, the men's national record-holder and 2015 world champion, won NCAA titles in 2014 and 2015 while attending the University of Akron.

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