FITZWIMARC School teacher Kate Cowley insists she still unfinished business to attend to before she retires from athletics at the end of this season.
The 29-year-old is a former multi-eventer, having represented Great Britain at senior, under-23 and under-20 level in both heptathlon and pentathlon before turning her back on the sport in 2008.
However just two years later she was back, although this time solely with a pole vault in her hand as she looked to finish her career by breaking the 4m barrier.
Cowley gave herself two years to do so and although she cleared 3.90m last month, she has failed to go any higher.
Most recently she finished third at the McCain Jumps & Throws Festival with a best effort of 3.76m.
“It was a good competition and the conditions were good which we haven’t had all year, so I was quite pleased with my performance,” the Havering Maysbrook AC athlete said.
“For me I am just trying to compete as much as possible.
“My target is to get 4m before the end of the year so I am trying to do as many comps as possible with that in mind.
“This is my last year as I am retiring at the end of the season so I am determined to reach that height and hopefully I can get it.
“I have enjoyed my final year, I have had quite a good season as I have had a few new PBs which bodes well. I just really want to get that elusive 4m and if I can that means I can end my career in the way I want to and go out on a high – it would be the perfect way to end.”
Since choosing to solely focus on the pole vault, Cowley has rubbed shoulders with the likes of London 2012 star Holly Bleasdale.
Bleasdale finished sixth in her Olympic debut but Cowley believes it is only a matter of time before we see her on the top step of the podium.
“It was a tough decision to make to retire but when I first started pole vaulting I told myself I would just do it as a hobby for two years and my two years are up,” she added. “It has been a good two years and I have really enjoyed it. I have done combined events before and although the pole vault is very different I have enjoyed it “I know Holly and it was amazing to see her perform at London 2012. “It was difficult because she had a lot of pressure on her going in to it.
“She has time on her hands so she will get there definitely.”
*The McCain Challenge Competition – which covers indoor, outdoor track and field and cross country – is the country’s premier domestic athletics series.
by: Ryan Goad