SUPERSTAR SWIMMER Mia Smith is keeping her dreams alive after coming fifth in the 100m breaststroke at the North West Regional Championship finals.
The Year 8 student from Helmshore posted personal bests in the six races she competed in at the competition.
Mia, who swims for Pioneer 79 where she has been a member for three years, was competing at Manchester Aquatics and Liverpool Aquatics over two weekends.
Mia said: “I swam in the 50, 100 and 200m breaststroke, the 50 and 100m backstroke and the 200 Individual Medley, IM, which involves fly, back, breast and freestyle strokes.
“I also had three other events that I qualified for, however I couldn’t have competed in everything so I just chose to go for my best strokes.
“Last year I was third and won a regional bronze medal in the 100m breaststroke, but the race was even more competitive this year and I was happy to post a strong personal best to get fifth place.
“It was really busy but you could still hear people cheering you on as you were getting ready for the swim.
“When I am racing I just get in the zone, I try not to look to see where the other swimmers are because it just slows you down, but I can sense where they are in the pool.
“I also got into two other finals: 200m breaststroke and the 200m IM and in both posted personal bests.
“I was not expecting to get into the final of the 200m IM because I was ranked 17th overall and so was in heat nine, but I won my heat and then finished eighth in the region following the final.”
Mia began swimming lessons when she was three and has been swimming competitively since the age of nine.
She also represented the school swimming team Haslingden Aces, who train at Marl Pits, at the English Schools Association Gala last year.
She said: “My goal is to swim in the Olympics.”
Other students from Haslingden High School who qualified for the North West Regional Swimming Championships were Ashlea Jolley, Year 10, Beth Hartwell and Reece Griffiths, Year 9 and Amelia Moss, Year 7, who are also members of Pioneer 79 swimming club.
They competed in several heats between them and achieved some solid personal bests, as well as furthering their experience of long course swimming in a highly competitive field.
Mia, Beth and Amelia have also been selected to represent North Lancashire at the forthcoming Inter-Association Regional Swimming Championships at the end of this month in Blackpool.