Young swim star impresses selectors, books spot in Qld squad
ELEVEN races. Eleven medals.
That's how Cannonvale swimmer Mikhaila Flint finished her competition at the Queensland Short Course Championships.
It was enough to score the 13-year-old the prestigious title of Country Swimmer of the Meet - a lofty title that places her among the best in Queensland in her age group.
The young star won four gold medals and seven silvers - the best she has ever performed at state level.
Although the championships were held in August, Mikhaila did not receive her trophy until Swimming Queensland coach and club development officer Barry Prime visited the Cannonvale Cannons training last week.
The award recognises the best country swimmer at the meet, something Prime said was "no easy feat”.
"Swimming Queensland is tough competition,” he said.
Mikhaila was pleased with her achievement.
"I knew I had a lot of medals but I didn't think I'd get swimmer of the meet,” she said.
"To win something like this is pretty important.”
Mikhaila, who has been swimming since before she can remember and competing with the Cannons for the past five years, said she liked the fact that she made new friends through her swimming.
"When we go to carnivals you have friends (who go with you) and you make friends and see them at other events,” she said.
"You get to race against all your friends.”
Mikhaila's favourite stroke is butterfly - which is evident as she earned gold at the state competition in 50m butterfly and 100m butterfly.
She won the other two golds in the 50m and 100m freestyle events.
"I like butterfly. It feels really nice,” she said.
"A lot of people say it's a hard stroke, so it's pretty good that I can swim it easily.
"My first race when I was eight was 25m butterfly and I've loved it from there.
"I've gone through different strokes, but it has always been my favourite.”
As a result of her performance at the state titles and national age group competitions, Mikhaila has now been chosen to represent Queensland in the State Teams Short Course Meet at the Australian Institute of Sport in Canberra.
Prime said Mikhaila's versatility helped cement her spot in the team.
"She shows an all-round talent. She's obviously very good at freestyle and butterfly,” he said.
"She's done really, really well. I hope her performance inspires the whole region.
"Within Swimming Queensland, statistics show that 30 per cent of that team go on to represent Australia at major international competitions.”
Cannonvale Cannons head coach Mark Erickson is proud of Mikhaila's achievements.
"It's pretty special. She's been working hard,” he said.
"It's good to see her getting rewards for her hard work.”
Erickson said it was good to see a swimmer from a country area doing so well at a high level of the sport.
"It's showing we can get to those levels,” he said.
"It's all water. We train hard. If you work on your technique, there's no reason you can't get to those levels.”