Kaitlyn enjoys "shark" frenzy
IT'S fitting high-achieving teenager Kaitlyn Morris has become a "shark" for the first time - she's hungry to dominate her territory.
But instead of in the water, it's on the squash courts where the Bremer State High School student is developing an appetite to succeed.
She's already achieved her first major goal in being chosen in the Queensland Sharks junior team competing at the Australian junior championships in Canberra next month.
Kaitlyn, 15, is ranked number one in Queensland for her age group.
The exciting Ipswich prospect is hoping the national tournament from September 28-October 6 helps her achieve another goal.
"I'm going down to represent Queensland and it's a hard team to get into," she said, currently rated number six in Australia.
"It will improve my Australian ranking as well."
Before the Australian junior titles, the Ripley squash player is also part of a Queensland school team contesting this month's Trans-Tasman Challenge in New Zealand. She'll represent Queensland against the host country and NSW.
While Kaitlyn has made that team before, she's excited about the opportunities it provides before she steps up an age group.
"Next year is going to be tough because it's under-17s," she said.
"It's pretty much an experience year and the next year after that will be hopefully be where I peak.
"I'd love to make the Australian team and see where it takes me."
Kaitlyn only started squash two years ago after trying it at Bremer.
She hasn't looked back.
"I never thought I would have come this far now," the Year 10 student said.
"I had a goal to make the Queensland team and I didn't think I was going to get it in the time period that I ended up doing it."
She's been to a number of tournaments including representing the Met West team at the state titles in Rockhampton.
At the Ipswich Junior Open championship, she was chosen in the Southern Region team as the number one 15-year-old. That gave her the chance to compete at the Queensland Junior Championships in Mackay in June.
With supportive parents Paula and Rob backing her all the way, Kaitlyn trains three afternoons a week at Ipswich PCYC. She also works on her game in Laidley on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
She thanked Neil Porter at the PCYC and her dedicated coach Larry Raushenbach for their encouragement.
"Larry is helpful in coaching and motivation - to get my head right as well," she said.
"Neil finds courts for me and it's a good set-up that I have with him with the gym as well."
Kaitlyn is unsure what she wants to do after high school.
But listening to the rising talent chat about her passion for squash, it's clear she is making great strides in her chosen sport.
Player to watch: Kaitlyn Morris
- Lives: Ripley. Attends: Year 10 at Bremer State High School.
- Why squash: "I used to play tennis and I tried squash for school and really like it. I like how you can run and get fit with it and have fun at the same time. It's so fast.''
- Best advice: "Keep telling myself to keep going. Never give up''.
- What is most satisfying about squash: "It's self achievement and working for something and then finally getting there.''
- The toughest part: "All the hours you put in.''