Stoke School athlete Mikayla Whiti will be making her international debut at the young age of 11 when she lines up at the Pacific Schools Games in Adelaide, starting this weekend.
Mikayla was named in the New Zealand track and field team for the games earlier this year after winning the 100m and 200m sprint double at both the North and South Island Colgate Games
Although Mikayla recorded a 13.94sec personal best for the 100m at the North Island Colgate Games in January this year, her coach Dennis Kale says it’s difficult know how she’ll perform in Adelaide.
“She’s prepared well for it but it’s early in the season so it’s hard to tell how she’ll go.” Dennis, who has been coaching Mikayla for two years, says the Athletics Richmond runner always had plenty of natural speed and they have been focusing on improving her technique.
“There are lots of runners out there with natural speed but they also need a good technique to run really fast. We’ve spent the last 18 months working on Mikayla’s technique because, if they can learn it at a young age, it’s so much easier.”
Mikayla is the only athlete from Tasman to be selected for the team and she completed her preparation by winning the 100m and 200m in her age group at the Tasman Children’s Centre inter-club meeting at Saxton Field on Sunday.