UNDER-pressure Mooloolaba competitor Amy Nurthen is desperate to hold on to a top-10 spot in the Telstra Ironwoman Series.
The 20-year-old is precariously placed heading into the sixth and final event of the series at Noosa Heads on Sunday.
"It's going to be one of the biggest rounds because I am in 10th place and I really want to stay there," Nurthen said yesterday.
With the series' top 10 set to reclaim berths in the elite competition for next summer, there is plenty at stake.
"A top-10 spot has been a goal of mine for throughout the whole season," Nurthen said.
"Even before the season, I was training to get in that top 10.
"I'm on track, but it's going to be very tight on the weekend."
Nurthen has a 16-point advantage over Alyce Bennett, with Mooloolaba club-mate Allira Richardson just another four points adrift.
Nurthen realises her performance on Sunday will need to be free of some of the errors that have hindered her at times during this campaign.
She has finished sixth, 15th, sixth, ninth and 10th in the rounds so far.
"I have made a few mistakes which have cost me a lot in other rounds so I'm definitely looking at a mistake-free race this time," Nurthen said.
"I've got a very big goal and I definitely want to get it, so I will have to be mistake-free.
"It's just about getting the little things right and putting it all together."
An undoubted talent, Nurthen won a round at Portsea in the 2010-11 season, but finished 15th overall.
"So this season has been a big step from last year," she said. "Last year I was at the end of the pack for most of it."
Nurthen, who relocated from New South Wales to Mooloolaba in the off-season, will have family cheering her on at Noosa on Sunday.
She will celebrate her 21st birthday on Monday.
IRONWOMAN SERIES - Overall points score (after five rounds)
N Flood 376
C Hancock 368
B Moir 328
H Bateup 264
M Dunn 252
R Creedy 248
H Brown 248
J Mercer 240
B Hancock 236
A Nurthen 216
A Bennett 200
C Falzon 172
A Bull 172
T Coleman 164
K Perkins 160
D Halligan 28
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