Teen tunes up for big time at U17 champs

Alyssa Bull is preparing for the the Nutri-Grain national series start next month.
Alyssa Bull is preparing for the the Nutri-Grain national series start next month. Harvpixcom

ALEXANDRA Headland teenager Alyssa Bull has a reputation on the rise - but her ego remains grounded.

Next month the 16-year-old will compete against the best ironwomen in the country when the Nutri-Grain national series starts in Perth.

On Saturday she will compete against the state's best under-17 surf lifesavers at the Interbranch Championships at Sunshine Beach.

In the process she hopes to help steer the Sunshine Coast to a fifth consecutive title in the junior carnival.

Bull will use the event as a tune-up for her debut Nutri-Grain series, which she qualified for after finishing second at the series' trials at Tugun in September.

Her progression from junior to senior events has been eye-catching. And she again showed what a burgeoning force she is by finishing fourth in a crack open ironwoman field at last Sunday's Maroochy Surf Classic.

Currently finishing Year 11 at Siena Catholic College, she thrashed the under-19 field on debut at October's Coolangatta Gold.

Bull knows her appearance in the six-round Nutri-Grain series - which begins at Perth on December 23 - will be watched with interest. She is attempting to shield herself from the weight of expectation and pressure of racing against her idols.

"I'm very excited about the next few months," she said.

"I think I said before that I'm not putting any pressure on myself.

"Making the series - for me, I've already won, I feel. So whatever happens after this is a bonus (but) obviously I'm going to race hard and try my best."

Bull said another lure of competing in the Interbranch Championships was the chance to be a teammate of girls from rival clubs who she normally raced against.

The championships recommenced five years ago, meaning the Sunshine Coast has won it every year.

The other 49-member branches are Queensland Country, South Coast and Point Danger.

Top athletes to compete at the event include Jordan Mercer and Teisha Jenkins.

"It really is a breeding ground for tomorrow's superstars," Sunshine Coast team manager and selector Craig Law said.

>> Surf facts

  • Surf Life Saving Queensland Interbranch Championships
  • Pool rescue events held at Noosa Aquatic Centre tomorrow
  • Beach and ocean events held at Sunshine Beach on Saturday
  • Sunshine Coast going for fifth straight win
  • The other branches are Queensland Country, South Coast and Point Danger
  • Each branch has 49 members

Topics:  surf life saving

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