The Higher School Certificate won the battle between education and swimming, but it won't always be that way.
Port Macquarie swimmer Phoebe Bentley achieved the required Olympic trial times in both the 50-metre and 200-metre freestyle events on the Gold Coast a fortnight ago.
In the process she obtained two personal best results which meant she could have tested herself against the best in the sport at Adelaide in June.
A berth on the Australian team for Tokyo loomed as a possibility but unfortunately the timing wasn't right as Bentley will sit the HSC later in the year.
It took preference.
"We thought about (trying to do both), but in the end the pros of the HSC outweighed (going to the Olympic trials)," she said.
"All my main events are done for the year so now I want to really focus on my school work because I know this is the last year I'm going to be at school.
"I may as well give it the best effort I can and then in the future I've still got many years ahead of me where I can swim full-time."
The teenager admitted she wasn't disappointed at not being able to test herself against the best Australia has to offer in her pet events.
If her times are an indication, Bentley knows it won't be her last opportunity to chase an Olympic dream.
"I know there are going to be more opportunities when I've got more time to train and when I get to go away and swim full-time, it'll be better than now," she said.
"The trials are going to come up again in a few more years and if I'm still swimming then and it's something I want to do, then definitely I'll give it a good go.
"I know it's not the last opportunity I'll get."
After completing her HSC, the 17-year-old indicated she would like to take a year off to focus on swimming before a potential move into university and the Gold Coast.
"I really want to move away and take a gap year, swim and work during the gap year and after that I want to go to uni," she said.
Bentley said swimming had already taught her many life lessons which she will take into her exams later in the year.
"I have a good work ethic and always give everything my best effort in anything I do," she said.
"Swimming has taught me to stay determined and resilient. I'm a bit of a perfectionist especially with swimming and school."
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