SUPERSTAR: Local teenager new national champion
SWIMMING sensation Mikhaila Flint has won gold at the Australian Age Championships over the Easter weekend.
Coach Mark Erickson said the promising young swimmer had always had big ambitions.
"She's always said to me she wanted to make an Australian team, right from the word go,” he said.
The Cannonvale Cannons swimmer has launched herself on the national stage, making an impact after firing from the blocks to achieve PBs in all her events at the championships held in Adelaide.
The superstar won bronze in the 200m individual medley, with a time of 2.22.58, resulting in a 4.42 second PB.
She flew through the water in the 200m freestyle, blowing everyone else out of the pool to snag the ultimate - a gold medal.
Erickson said it was "absolutely brilliant”, when she won.
"It was a really gutsy swim, and it really showed the others that she's as good as them,” he said.
"I think that helped her believe that she's as good as those other kids.”
The young gun raced in eight events at the championships, qualifying for seven finals.
The 13-year-old Proserpine High School student said she trained five days a week, with a 5am start on three mornings. When she's on the starting blocks, she's in the zone, and says she doesn't think of anything.
Her father Matt helps her to "snap out of” her nerves before a big event, putting things into perspective.
"My dad just tells me to go and have fun, and do whatever you can,” she said.
The young star likes a challenge, citing her favourite stroke as butterfly.
"It's the hardest to do, and it requires a lot more effort,” she said.
Erickson said the biggest thing for Mikhaila was the power of self-belief.
"Until you get a bit of self-belief, you tend to hold back a little bit, just subconsciously,” he said.
"Once you start achieving stuff, that's when you realise you can do it, and that's when you start to believe in yourself.”
Cannonvale Cannons is a small club, and anyone who wants to donate money to help get children to competitions can contact the club.