A Waitaki Girls’ High School year 9 pupil has broken an athletics record that stood more than four decades.

Jessica Lake (13) set a new Waitaki Girls’ High School record for high jump at the school’s recent athletics day with a jump of 1.51m.

The old record, set in 1978 by Joanne Paton, who jumped 1.45m, had stood for an impressive length of time and Jessica was excited to see it broken.

It was also a personal-best jump for Jessica – and one she is rightly proud of.

She has been high jumping for only two years.

“I was expecting to do all right [at athletics day], but not breaking a record,” she said.

“I was almost crying – my mum was watching me and she burst into tears. She’d travelled all the way up from Alexandra.”

She attempted 1.53m, but could not quite clear it.

“Hopefully I’ll get that some time soon,” she said.

Her sights are now set on placing at the coming Aoraki Athletics Championships and from there, South Island and national championships.

“I’ve looked up the New Zealand [high jump] records and, one day, I want to break that,” she said.

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