Jenn Stuczynski spoke of her relief at finally taking down Stacy Dragila's indoor American pole vault record on Saturday.
Stuczynski, the American outdoor record holder, landed a US dollars 25,000 bonus at the Reebok Boston Indoor Games when she topped 2000 Olympic champion Dragila's near-five-year-old national mark of 4.81 metres.
"I think it was a relief. It's a mental game you play with yourself. I've tried this so many times and now I want to make it. I tried to stay focused on it and go with the routine jumps," she said.
She had come agonisingly close eight days previously during last weekend's Millrose Games at New York's Madison Square Garden but needed no second chance in Boston.
Stuczynski cleared 4.82m on her first attempt having sailed over 4.52m and 4.62m in consecutive vaults and at last produced the clearance she knew she was capable of.
She added: "It was definitely harder to do than you say it is," Stuczynski said. "I didn't know if I was going to do well. I didn't have a feeling about it going into this meet. It was a big question mark. I just didn't know how I was going to perform."
With her new national record in the bag, Stuczynski had the bar raised to a world record height of 4.96m in an effort to break Elena Isinbaeva of Russia's world record of 4.95m.
That mark proved too much, however, and the American, two days on from her 27th birthday, settled for just the one milestone with Dragila finishing second having cleared 4.42m and Norway's Cathrine Larsaasen third on 4.02m.
The Press Association (Reuters)