CRICKET: Tarah Staines represented the North Burnett to win the nationals for under-12 cricket.
The Monto girl travelled to Barooga to participate in the Queensland team for cricket, facing off against teams from the Australian Capital Territory, Tasmania, New South Wales and Victoria.
The U12s had solid wins against ACT and Tasmania, beating ACT's 62 runs with 13 overs and Tasmania's 44 runs in six overs.
The team faced a significant step up in challenge against NSW, ending on a nail-biter with six out for 102 runs against the opposition's seven out for 99.
The semi-finals were against Victoria, another close game right up until the end when the Queensland team pulled ahead in the last six overs.
Then in the finals the side went up against NSW's second team, narrowly winning again with 111 to 102.
After the game had finished, a School Sports Australia representative told the girls they were now effectively the top players in Australia for that division.
Tarah was worn out from the experience but thrilled with her team's win.
"It was exciting, but a bit scary,” she said.
"From Wide Bay there were three other girls on the team I knew, but the competition was a lot tougher.”
The U12 boys won the silver medal, so Queensland won on overall points.
In addition to the gold for cricket, Tarah also won a silver medal playing softball at the nationals in Adelaide back in December.
In Adelaide, her team played NSW, South Australia, Victoria, ACT and NSW again in the finals.
"We just lost, it was a close game,” she said.
"The first game we played against them they beat us 10-1, then in the final we were 5-3.”
Tarah will continue her sporting rise in 2018, stepping up to a new level with the U15 cricket trials in February.
At 12 going on 13, she will be up against stiffer competition in the trials.
Tarah will continue to play representative cricket and softball going forward.
"I like cricket more than softball, I've been doing it longer,” she said.
"I did club because of my siblings and the year after that I did school sport trials and got into the Wide Bay team.”
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