Tiarna focuses on senior ranks
HAVING achieved so much in the junior ranks, Tiarna Smith has mixed feelings about heading full time into open competition.
"It's exciting but sad,'' the Ipswich-based state and national darts representative said.
"That was my fifth and final junior nationals.''
Smith, who turns 18 in December, recently shared in Queensland's latest team success at the Australian junior championships in South Australia.
Smith was a member of the state team, which became national champions in Murray Bridge.
The consistent performer also achieved the second highest average in Australia during the week.
"I played allright,'' she said.
"We won all the teams events and got a bronze in the mixed doubles.
"Teams events are a big part of winning champion state.''
Her latest efforts follow her second World Cup appearance for Australia.
After making her national team debut at the Junior World Cup in Canada in 2013, Smith represented her country a second time at last year's tournament in Turkey.
Heading into the senior competition, she won four World Cup medals - two silver, one gold and a bronze from those two tournaments.
She's been a state representative for five years, travelling to competitions in Tasmania, NSW, Western Australia, South Australia and around Queensland.
But her future is in national competition, where she hopes to break into the Queensland team again next year.
Needing a balance of concentration and relaxation to succeed, Smith is hoping to continue her representative journey against older opponents.
She has a zone one open tournament at Inala this weekend before focusing on more practice.
"I'd like to make the senior state team,'' she said. "I've got to wait until the middle of next year because of my birthday.''
Smith is the QT-City of Ipswich monthly sportstar for December in the annual awards backed by Ipswich City Council.
Smith joins earlier winners - rugby league player Thomas Mikaele (November), hockey goalkeeper Emily Witheyman- Crump (October), golfer Louis Dobbelaar (September), karate exponent Tara Dodrill (August) and indoor netballer Katrina Smidt (July).