It was a race Emma Jeffcoat couldn't have scripted better with the world number 48 cruising to a 1:01.59 victory in the Devonport Triathlon's elite/under 23 women's race.
The Melbourne-based athlete led the sprint race from start to finish - securing a five second lead after exiting the water from the first leg.
It was the 26-year-old's first race in more than a year after COVID-19 restrictions forced the cancellation of all of last year's events.
"I've literally only raced once in the past 12 months and that was in a 2XU race in Melbourne, so it was a long time between drinks," Jeffcoat said.
"I think today was a reflection of where I'm a - I felt like I'm in some excellent form.
"I was just kind of nervous to see whether I could execute and really show where I'm at, so I'm stoked I was able to show where I'm at."
Jeffcoat was among four athletes looking to post a dominant time to get selectors attention heading into the Tokyo Olympics.
Tokyo contenders Kelly-Ann Perkins and Jaz Hedgeland rounded out the race's top three, finishing in a 1:02.21 and 1:02:25 respectively.
Jeffcoat's dominant lead on the race is one she enjoyed having.
"It's the way like to race; I like to go hard from the start and I like to control the race and that is where I feel most comfortable," she said.
"I just took it in my stride and loved every minute of it.
"Sometimes you kind of wonder where your form is at, so leading into an Olympic selection, I'm really happy with that."
There was an extra motivator for Jeffcoat in the race, with her mum Sue making the trip down from New South Wales to watch her compete.
"I made the move to Melbourne away from home in Sydney to kind of chase that Olympic dream and to make Tokyo," she said.
"So to have my mum come down and be here to watch a special race and get a national title, makes it all better."
The win was one Sue said she was "exceptionally" proud of.
"The last race was Mooloolaba last March before the world close down, so I'm absolutely stoked," Sue said.
"I'm exceptionally proud to watch her work - all of them kept working over the past year and they worked so hard with no real goal.
With competitors' next race just two weeks away, Jeffcoat said the national championship win in Devonport was one she'd carry with her.
"It's a massive confidence boost to get such a good race on the board, everyone is in good form and wanting to demonstrate some form in the up coming races," she said.
"Everyone wants to put their best foot forward when it comes to racing, sometimes it goes to plan like it did for me today but I have no doubt the other girls will be firing when it comes to the race in Mooloolaba."