Hinz sets sights on nationals

SICKNESS last year prevented swimmer Emily Hinz from performing at her peak, but this year she is determined to reach her goals.

The 17-year-old Rockhampton teen will lead a strong local contingent at the national titles in Perth in April.

She is now training the house down in the lead-up to the event.

??At the moment I??m doing ten training sessions a week,?? she said.

In the lead-up to the national titles last year, Hinz was struck down with the flu, forcing her to pull out just weeks before the competition.

??Last year wasn??t a good year for me because I was sick all the time, but this year I??m hoping to do a lot better,?? she said.

Hinz has been involved in the sport for 15 years, including ten years of competition swimming.

She has performed at the national level and numerous times for the Queensland team.

She said she was drawn to the sport after her first lesson.

??After I started training I didn??t want to stop,?? she said.

??I love winning and I love racing.??

Hinz continually travels to Brisbane for training and competition, however, this year??s nationals will be her first trip outside Queensland.

She said her parents were very supportive of her swimming endeavours, regularly braving the freezing cold mornings to take her to early training sessions.

??I have to go to bed pretty early to get up for training?? she said.

??We usually start at about 4.45am.??

Her weekly training regime includes gym sessions, running and pool sessions.

She said at one training session she would swim up to five or six kilometres.

The freestyler said her goals for 2007 were to improve personal best times for her pet events, including the 200m freestyle, and to keep her fitness at a high level for competition.

Hinz is also looking forward to competing at the state shortcourse championships later in the year, where she will attempt to improve on last year??s times.

The teen sensation changed clubs and coaches last year, now swimming under the guidance of Shane Kingston at the CQU Rocky City Swimming Club.

?? If you have any results, up-coming events or interesting stories for this column, contact Belinda on 4930 4252 or email to belinda.sleeman@capnews.com.au.

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