Tyla hits nationals

By Kirra Livingstone

IT was Tyla Paterson’s last shot at qualifying for the School Nationals this year, and nothing was going to get in her way.

After an already excellent start to 2023 – qualifying top 20 in a number of events at the Age Nationals in April – Tyla said there was one more goal she wanted to achieve.

“I was really pumped for this year was school states, because I know that being in Year 12 it’s my last year to make school Nationals so I tried my heart out,” she said.

“I came third when I had to come second, and the girl who came second only just beat me, so I handed in an application to still be selected onto the team, to go to Nationals and they accepted me.

“It was really special making school nationals this year because it’s my last year and I’m really pumped, it’s in Sydney too so it will be a nice trip”

Tyla was also named in the top 20 best swimmers at the age nationals in April for events including the 50m breaststroke (17th) and 100m breaststroke (20th).

“I did really well at the nationals, I made top 20 for all of my main events, and came 14th for my 200m breaststroke, so that was really exciting,” she said.

“Unfortunately, the morning of my first race I woke up really sick, but I wasn’t too far off my PB’s so that was good, because then when I feel better I know I’m going to smash them.” The year 12 student is coming off competing at the open aged short course nationals last year, where she brushed shoulders with some of the biggest swimmers in the country.

“I missed out by one position to make the finals and it was from a visitor too so if they hadn’t have come from overseas I would have made it… but it was a good experience,” she said.

“I wasn’t in any Olympians’ exact races but I was in the warm up pool with them which was really exciting, and then one nearly tumble-turned on me and she said ‘sorry’ to me.

“It was really cool to be in that environment because it’s somewhere that I want to try and get to one day.”

Tyla is now looking forward to continue training as hard as possible in an attempt to qualify for the 2028 Los Angeles Olympics.