RISING local athlete, Lara Check, has just finished two recent NSW State School Athletics Championship events with an incredible seven medals.
Most recently she competed at the NSW All Schools State Championships at the Sydney Olympic Park, claiming three bronze medals.
Her medals were in the long jump (5.50m), high jump (1.65m) and triple jump (10.98m) as well as finishing 6th in the 100m hurdles final.
Her NSW All Schools State Championship efforts adds to her four medals won at the Combined High School State Championships in September where she won two gold (17 years over pentathlon and 16-year high jump), a triple jump silver and bronze in the long jump.
Lara is a harsh task-master.
"The NSW All Schools meet wasn't the greatest I've had but I'm still happy with the results I achieved," she said.
"I would say the biggest disappointment for me at NSW All Schools was to finish third in three events.
"If I got a top-two I would have had the opportunity to compete in Perth in December at the Australian All Schools championships.
"However, Perth wasn't one of my goals though, as competing at a high level in individual events has just been a bonus for me with my focus being on heptathlons.
"My goal is the Australian Championship's heptathlon in Queensland in February next year."
Lara was not totally disappointed.
"I was most pleased by the fact that all of my results were consistent and I have taken away a lot from the meet with things to work on in all of my events," she said.
" I don't have many opportunities to run the full flight of 10 hurdles and had only done it once in training in the past six months.
"Now I know I have plenty of improvement there which will also help increase my heptathlon scores."
She is always looking at ways to improve.
"The training I have been doing for heptathlons is a little different than if I were to specialise on individual events as I need to balance strength, speed and endurance for the seven events rather than a pure focus on individual disciplines," she said.
"So I am really happy to achieve three bronze and a sixth place at state in individual events."
The heptathlon consists of 200m, 800, 100m hurdles, long jump, high jump, shot put and javelin.
The athlete, who turns 16 this month and goes to Nowra High loves taking part in competitions.
"The thing I like most about athletics is that it is a sport with measurable goals," she said.
"So I can set myself targets to work toward and know that when I'm training well I can achieve personal bests and improvement.
"I also love that because it's an individual sport, what you put in is what you get out.
"I have made a lot of friends from all over the state which also makes the sport fun.
"I'm really lucky that the girls who compete at state in my age group are all really friendly and we are really close.
"Although we compete against each other we all support each other and our mums also support all the girls."
Lara, along with her recently athlete journey also collected Shoalhaven zone, South Coast Region and NSW State 16-year age champion as well as five-zone records and a few personal bests.
Lara will now concentrate on training for the NSW state heptathlon in January and the Australian Combined event Championships in Queensland in February where she is excited to contest the heptathlon in the 17 years event.
She will also enjoy watching her idols and Commonwealth Games representatives Celeste Mucci and Alicia Burnett contest the opens.