MCCAIN JUMPS AND THROWS FEST: Sutcliffe eyes Great Britain vest
Andrew Sutcliffe has immediately set his sights on a first major Great Britain vest next year, after scooping victory at the McCain Jumps and Throws Fest in Birmingham over the weekend.
TARGET: Andrew Sutcliffe wants a Great britian vest next years as he targets becoming Great Britain's pole vaulting team
Aside from London 2012 Olympian Steve Lewis, the cream of British pole vaulting were in attendance at the Alexander Stadium - and 20-year-old Sutcliffe, from Dukinfield, prevailed with a best effort of 5.46m, a new outdoor personal best.
Sutcliffe has already demonstrated his considerable potential this season, taking victory at the indoor national championships in February - beating Lewis in the process - before finishing second at the 2012 Olympic trials.
Sutcliffe is the first to admit that the traditional British summer weather has not helped his outdoor cause this season, but under the roof he believes he's knocking on the door of senior international honours.
And the Sale Harrier has vowed to prove it by qualifying for the European Indoor Championships in Gothenburg, Sweden next March - provided he can keep clear his injury troubles.
"I ended with 5.46m which is an outdoor PB and the third highest I have ever jumped so I am pretty chuffed," said Sutcliffe.
"I am especially pleased to have done it right towards the end of the season and this was the last big one I had so it has been a great way to end the season.
"My aim is to get to the European Indoors because I am pretty strong indoors. I am hopefully going to try some longer poles as well and if everything goes well than the European Indoors is a real possibility.
"My season has been good though because I spent a lot of last season out with injury so I was really only using this season to get back into shape and learning how to jump in this weather and stuff.
"So it has been positive and the signs are looked good for next year where I will start injury free.
"I dislocated my knee and ruptured some ligaments so it was a pretty hefty one but it is behind me now and I just want to look forward."
While Sutcliffe has indoor ambitions next season, he is already scheming for a busy summer and has high hopes of competing at the European Under-23 Championships in Finland.
And Sutcliffe revealed that watching Lewis finish fifth at London 2012 in front of a capacity 80,000 crowd at the Olympic Stadium is just the motivation he needs to get there.
"For the outdoor season I will turn my attentions to the European Under-23s so there is plenty to aim for," he added.
"London 2012 has been such an inspiration to me and I definitely don't want to miss the next one and that gives me something to work on."
The McCain Challenge Competition - which covers Indoor, Outdoor track and field and Cross Country - is the country's premier domestic athletics series. Supported generously by UKA's Principal Partner McCain, the series provides top quality competition opportunities.
© Sportsbeat 2012