GALLERY: Surf club punches above its weight at North Oz
SURF LIFESAVING: It was a massive weekend for the junior contingent of the Tannum Sands Surf Life Saving Club.
On the back of its immense efforts at the North Australian Championships in Mackay, the club won the overall junior points score, the pool rescue competitions trophy and was placed second overall on 952 points behind Cairns (1067) upon completion late yesterday.
Stephanie Elliott featured prominently, finishing second in the under-15 girls boards final yesterday.
With her silver medal draped around her neck, Stephanie spoke with The Observer moments after the race.
"I was absolutely stoked and it was a final run and I am buggered though and at the end when I caught a little runner in,” she said of her last-gasp effort to get into medal contention.
"I was coming second and everyone caught a runner in, and it was a sprint finish.”
All the training under coach John Andrews had Stephanie well prepared.
"Training has been hard and I have been mainly focusing on swimming,” Stephanie said.
She also had success in Saturday's team events in which she was a member of the gold medal-winning team.
"Our surf team came first and I was also placed second in the obstacles event,” Stephanie said.
She rounded out the weekend with a strong finish in the ironwoman yesterday.
Andrews said the Tannum youngsters relished the challenge.
"They rise to this event and it's the first one, they work hard right up to this weekend,” he said.
Andrews said the event was the season-opener for southern surf lifesaving clubs and it also marked the end for the northern clubs.
"It's a combination of the dedication what they have done to get here to get some results and it's pleasing for them,” he said.
Annali Philpott, 11, was another who entered the championships with confidence.
"I got second in the 1km race and it's what I expected,” she said.
The youngster competed in her second Mackay event and began competitively at the U8 level.