Jessica Pickering has never won an Australian title.
But coach Brett Austine believes the 15-year-old is capable this year if she continues the form which earned her a place in the NSW team headed to Melbourne for the Australian Gymnastics Championships from May 22 to June 4.
Pickering placed second in the junior women’s final but had the highest score in the preliminary rounds.
“There are probably two girls in NSW at the moment who are leading candidates for potential Youth Olympic Games selection,” Austine said.
“One makes it from the Oceania region.”
The next Youth Olympics will be staged in Buenos Aires, Argentina in October, 2018.
“She’s doing routines now that would push her into contention for a top-four position in the Australian open team,” Austine, who is also the national coach, said.
Pickering joined forces with Blake Rutherford and Shaun and Ty Swadling to secure the Eastlake Trampoline Club the state team championship. She also collected a state title in the women’s junior synchronised event.
“I was just expecting to do my best,” the modest Belmont 15-year-old said of her state performance.
“It was the first time doing a double-10 routine and I was pretty happy with my performance.
“This year I am definitely trying to grab that [national title].
“I’ve come close, and come second many times, but this year I’m going for gold.”
The club returned from the state titles with 11 championships between eight athletes.
Domenic Cooksey won the men’s under-15 double mini trampoline and trampoline titles as well as teaming up with Flynn Lanz for victory in the under-17 synchronised trampoline. Lanz also won the men’s under-17 tumbling event.
Maya Freeman and Zoe Cooksey combined to win the under-17 synchronised trampoline title. The former also won the under-17 double mini trampoline and the latter the under-17 trampoline.
Jai Starret in the men’s 17-plus synchronised trampoline and the under-17 individual event.
Dylan Thomas and Max Morrissey combined to win the boys’ under-11 synchronised title.