Teen athlete wins 12 gold medals across two sports in two weekends

GOLDEN GIRL: Kaitlyn Hinrichsen will be hoping her winning streak continues as she steps up a level. Photo: JUDE KEOGH 0220jkkaitlyn1
GOLDEN GIRL: Kaitlyn Hinrichsen will be hoping her winning streak continues as she steps up a level. Photo: JUDE KEOGH 0220jkkaitlyn1

Orange athlete Kaitlyn Hinrichsen has won 12 gold medals across two sports in two weekends.

The 13-year old Orange High School student won nine gold medals at the Mountains and Plains Summer Swimming Championships at Grenfell earlier this month.

It followed her winning three gold medals and a bronze at the regional Little Athletics championships in Dubbo.

Her father Grant said Kaitlyn won her swimming gold medals in all strokes [freestyle, backstroke, breaststroke and butterfly] in both the 50 metre and 100 metre events and also won gold in the 200 metre individual medley.

At the athletics she dominated the distance events.

He said she won gold in the 800, 1500 and 3000 metre events and took bronze in the 400 metre final.

Kaitlyn’s next event is the NSW Country Swimming Championships in Sydney this weekend.

He said she would be contesting seven individual events.

Her next stop in athletics is the Little Athletics State Championships in late March.

I'm starting to go into triathlons. I've got my first one next week.

Kaitlyn Hinrichsen

She said she preferred swimming over running but was about to embark on a new sport – which includes the other sports.

“Probably swimming because I’ve done it for longer,” she said.

“I’m starting to go into triathlons actually.

“I’ve got my first one next week.

“My first is state all-schools.”

It consists of a 400 metre swim, a 10 kilometre bike ride and a three kilometre run.

She said she didn’t have to qualify for this event and had not joined a triathlon club.

However, she said that if it went well she would look at doing more triathlons.

To train for all this requires dedication.

She swims for 15 hours a week and runs and rides for 6-7 hours a week.

But it is proving successful.

“It’s really cool, It is going so well,” she said.

Hincrichsen said her times were improving in some events.

“I’m getting better in backstroke,” she said.

“I’m hoping for some PBs [personal best times] at the country championships at the weekend.”

She is also looking forward to the cross country season starting after she qualified for the nationals last year.

“I enjoy it more than I do athletics, and I think I’m probably better at it.”

Hinrichsen moved from Canada to Australia in January 2017.

Her mum, Alanna, won a bronze medal in the 4x400 metre relay at the 1994 Commonwealth Games on home soil in Canada.

Hinrichsen said she was enjoying watching the Winter Olympics on television at present and was gaining inspiration to strive to achieve more.

“It’s quite interesting,” she said.

“All the little bits they show about the athletes and their journeys. It inspires you to do better things.”

So who does she cheer for at the games, Australia or Canada?

“A bit of both,” she said.

“Though Canada is going a bit better than Australia.”


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