Swimmer dives into nationals
ELLIAH Hamono has been a Central Queensland multi-class swimming champion and competed at the Queensland championships.
But all of that seems minor in comparison to what is to come.
The next step for the 11-year-old is the national championships in Sydney.
Elliah (pictured) will be competing against swimmers from all over the country in the 11-14 age group, and has no idea how she might go.
Signs are good, Elliah having to post sufficient times to qualify for her three events.
"I am doing the 50m freestyle, 50m breaststroke and 100 breaststroke," she said.
"I had to do all personal bests and take seconds off my times."
Elliah did all of that under the pressure of swimming against Paralympic swimmers at the state level.
She was good enough to make a final against her much older and much more experienced rivals, despite the nerves she was feeling and the nerves of her mum.
But jovial Elliah often reminds mum Jo, who helps her start because she can't hear without her hearing aids in, that only the swimmer should be nervous.
The whole experience was made easier for Elliah by Michael Anderson, a Paralympian who came to the Boyne Tannum Bullets for a clinic and helped her feel comfortable in the new environment.
Almost all the time, anyway.
"When we were in the warm-up pool he ran over me like I was a speed bump because he couldn't see me," she said.
The aim going into her first national titles is to try and get some more personal bests, regardless of overall position.
Not falling in the pool early is also a goal, which Elliah did for the first time at Capricornia recently.
But she has some big-time experience, in swimming and athletics, which should help her get through.
"I went to Tasmania for athletics and finished third in the 800m," she said.