Tamworth water polo ace Mikayla Gross rests up ahead of another big year

GIRL POWER: Mikayla Gross has been a major factor in the Australian Schoolgirls' Test series win over the New Zealand Schoolgirls. Photo: Paul Mathews

GIRL POWER: Mikayla Gross has been a major factor in the Australian Schoolgirls' Test series win over the New Zealand Schoolgirls. Photo: Paul Mathews

Mikayla Gross is having a well-earned break - which, for this super-active athlete, is not an easy thing to do - after starring for the Australian Schoolgirls water polo side.

The 17-year-old Tamworth High student underlined her potential to play water polo at the highest level by scoring four goals in Australia's 2-1 series defeat of the New Zealand Schoolgirls at Austinville, Queensland.

I kind of picked up a gear [in the final Test] because we really wanted that win.

Mikayla Gross

Commenting on the trans-Tasman series, she said: "I think I played pretty good ... I kind of picked up a gear [in the final Test] because we really wanted that win [she scored to break a 5-5 deadlock]."

The conclusion of the series marked the conclusion of a hectic two months for Gross: in November she made her debut for Australia, in a junior national squad that played matches in Tokyo.

Earlier this month she represented North West at the CHS state championships at Wagga Wagga. She will emerge from the Christmas break in early January to play for the Hunter Hurricanes at the under-18 club nationals in Brisbane.

Straight after that, she will take part in a training camp for the national youth squad in Brisbane. A whittled downed squad will contest the 2020 FINA Youth Championships.

"I just have to keep putting in the effort at training, and if I make it, I make it," she said of representing Australia at the Youth Championships. "I just have to try my hardest. But if they take me, I'll be really happy. If they don't, at least I know I tried my hardest."

Gross made her debut for Australia on the tour of Japan. Last week she was named the North West School Sports Association's sportsperson of the year.

"It's been a pretty big year," she said. "Even the last six weeks, I've had three tournaments. So it's been pretty crazy."

This story Mikayla Gross reflects on her green and gold year first appeared on The Northern Daily Leader.