GRACE KELLY knows there is still plenty of time to represent her state on the track but a chance at securing glory at one of Australian athletics' premier meets doesn't come around often.
The 12-year-old sprint star recently secured the 100-200 metre double at the Athletics Victoria Track and Field Championships the past two weekends.
Her victories at her first AV state titles earned her a spot on the Victorian team for the Junior and Open aged Track and Field Championships in Sydney in April.
But Kelly will instead turn her focus back to the grass and the Victorian Athletic League for a tilt at under 18 glory at the Stawell Gift from April 20 to 22.
"Last year I did Little Athletics event but I guess it will be a bit more exciting in the under 18s to be racing bigger and better kids this year," she said of her step up in age group.
"I decided not to do it (nationals) and take my time and avoid burning myself out and take each race as it comes as there is plenty of time for me to run there.
"I hope one day that I could win the Stawell Gift off scratch and wear the red colours (of the back marker)."
Before the year seven Emmanuel College student heads off to Stawell at Easter she will be eyeing off more medals at the Little Athletics Victoria State Championships at Casey Fields this weekend.
Kelly, who trains with Rob Duynhoven and Wayne Perry at the DPS (Duynhoven Perry Sprinting), enters the weekend with added confidence after receiving a boost from her idol, national runner Mia Gross.
"She watched my race and enjoyed it then when I spoke to her afterwards she said to just keep on running," she said.
"I then watched her 200 from the start line. She was first out to her start line and took her time to set up her starting blocks and from watching her I learnt a few things."
The promising sprinter also identified where she could still improve on her 12.32 100 and 26.14 200-metre times from the weekend.
"I have a good start but I tend to die towards the end and I want to try to finish more strongly and try finish off the same as I start," she said.
"With training we still focus on some short stuff but also get into the longer stuff to try and do some bursts and try and improve if someone is coming up behind you so you can get another kick of speed."
Have you signed up to The Standard's daily newsletter and breaking news emails? You can register below and make sure you are up to date with everything that's happening in the south-west.