ULLADULLA'S Olivia Greenhalgh hasn't let the COVID-19 lockdown affect her sporting success, as shown by her recent performance at the NSW Short Course Cross Country Championships.
The Ulladulla High School student finished second in the under 15 girls 3km event, with a time personal best cross country time of 10:54 (quicker by 14 seconds) - one second behind winner Sarah Baker.
"It was quite bunched at the beginning of the race, because 50m after the start-line, all the competitors funnel into a narrow section - so we started out at quite a strong pace," Greenhalgh said.
"At about the 1km mark, Sarah and I started to pull away from the front pack, which was made up of about 10 girls.
"I pulled away from Sarah in the last 300 metres and I had a slight lead but in the final sprint, I didn't have the legs and she ended up beating me on the line."
Greenhalgh, despite being pipped on the line, puts this success at the Dapto Integral Park Cross Country course on July 15 down to her consistent training with coach Andae Kalimusic.
"I prepared for this event by training six days a week with my coach," Greenhalgh said.
"I went for all my runs after my online school and did lots of the work by myself since we weren't allowed in big groups."
Greenhalgh's second-place finish qualified her for next month's Australian Championships at Adelaide's SA State Sports Park - which were recently been postponed due to COVID.
"I am very happy with my result considering it was the first cross country race I've had all year," she said.
"There has been no school cross country either. We normally have lots of races before the state events.
"Although South Australia has now unfortunately now been postponed, if it does go ahead I'll be prepared because I have raced at quite a few national events now - I know what to expect and how hard I need to train before it.
"It's been a bit of a disappointing year for my teammates and I, as a few of us qualified for the Australian Athletics Championships also which were also unfortunately cancelled in March."
Until then though, the 14-year-old will continue to work hard on the training track.
"I will continue to train hard as I did over the quarantine period and add a couple more kilometres to my training program - I really enjoy the training," Greenhalgh, who has a top 10 goal for Adelaide's nationals, said.
"I'm looking forward to the track season and competing in the middle distance events.
"Unfortunately NSW All School Athletics has now just been postponed as well, but hopefully that will be on in a few months."