Samantha Kerr an all-round star
THE difference between the best and the rest is a matter of centimetres in many sports.
None more so than the gravity-defying field event high jump, something Iluka's Samantha Kerr knows only too well.
The Daily Examiner checked in with our Jetts Fitness Junior Sportsperson for the Month of March when she returned home for the Easter break.
This year she moved to Parramatta and has just completed term one of study at University of Western Sydney and, as usual, has her plate full of sporting pursuits.
Since the move, she represented Northern Eagles Open Women at National Touch League, finished 11th at Junior Nationals for high jump and signed up to play centre for Blacktown in the State Netball League.
She has had to give up rowing because it was "too much to juggle".
"I like doing all the sports," Kerr said.
"I like working in a team. But I love the high jump. I like proving to myself that I can do it."
By her own admission Kerr's best leap of 165cm at the Nationals was below par for one whose personal best was 173cm and had won the gold medal at last year's NSW Combined High School championships.
But her preparation was not ideal - she was busy competing at the national level in touch football instead. Indeed, she did not compete in her secondary event, the triple jump, because its schedule clashed with the back end of the NTL.
"I had bruises and sore muscles from touch football," she said.
Would it be raising the bar too high to expect Kerr to bounce to the top of high jump in this country? Or can she make it if she takes a leap of faith?
"Definitely, if I train," Kerr says.
"I've only been training for high jump like once a week. I want to get into an athletics club and train on the tartan tracks and work towards qualifying for Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast.
"I'm only 10cm under World Junior Championships (183cm) and they jump around 190cm at the moment for the Commonwealth Games."
In the meantime, it's back to the touch football field for this multi-talented athlete. This weekend she heads to Goulburn to represent Northern Eagles at the NSW Touch Junior Regional Championships.
As March Junior Sportsperson, Kerr is invited to attend the Clarence Valley Sports Awards at the end of the year as a nominee for Sportsperson of the Year.
WOMEN'S HIGH JUMP
2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games selection standard is 180cm.
Australia's Commonwealth Games selection policy sets its nomination standard at 183cm.
Eleanor Patterson won gold at the Junior Nationals with a jump of 189cm - the highest mark by an Australian in 2014. Cassie Purdon (179cm) was second.
Commonwealth Games women's record is 196cm by South Africa's Hestrie Cloete at Manchester 2002.
World record is 209cm by Bulgaria's Stefka Kostadinova in 1987.
Canada's Nicole Forrester (191cm) won gold in Delhi, 2010. Ellen Pettit (178cm) was the best-placed Australian in 11th