NATHAN Smith will look to build on his strong performance from Queensland last month when he aims to qualify for a national time at Port Macquarie this weekend.
More than 140 swimmers will hit the water in their last chance to achieve qualifying times for the country regional titles at the end of January.
Smith has already achieved the times required for country level, so the focus now will be on a national time.
The teenager was a standout at the Queensland Championships at the Brisbane Aquatic Centre where he was the quickest Australian in a number of events.
He was the first Aussie in the 400-metre individual medley, 200-metre butterfly and 100-metre butterfly.
“Most of my strokes have improved, but butterfly was my best placing in Queensland,” he said.
“I was the quickest Australian, but there were Japanese and a couple of Singapore kids there so I didn’t get to make a final.”
He doesn’t have too many expectations for Saturday’s races.
“Monday was my first time back in the water (since Christmas), but hopefully I go pretty good at Port,” he said.
“I’m not looking ahead too much, there are some pretty good competitors coming down so it should be a good race.
“I think I did PB’s in all of my races except one and in that I got an equal PB so I wouldn’t say I surprised myself, but I was happy with how I went.”
Smith, who will turn 14 on January 15, said he enjoyed the experience of racing at a different venue to Sydney Olympic Park.
“It was a good experience; I went to get a new feel of what it’s like at a different place instead of just at SOPAC.”
Smith, along with Phoebe Bentley, Hayley Kable and Luke Mapstone will be ones to watch.
Port Macquarie Swimming Club president Warren Phillips said it will be the first time Port Macquarie has held the event this early in January.
“Being in the school holidays helps because we have swimmers from Kiama in the south to Bathurst and Wee Waa in the west and Nerang in the north,” he said.
Competition starts at 9am on Saturday.
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