Nicole van der Kaay can't contain her excitement after being named in the New Zealand Commonwealth Games triathlon team to compete on the Gold Coast in April.
The 21-year-old has had a breakout season, and her results have included finishing fourth at the World Cup event in the Czech Republic in September.
"My family are pretty stoked as they're huge supporters and they love the sport so they're happy to see me do well," van der Kaay said.
"That performance in Karlovy was a bit of a surprise for me and it's a great confidence booster entering into the bigger events."
The Taupo student is one of three debutants in the team, along with Tayler Reid and Rebecca Spence.
"We're juniors on the scene so we're all about learning, but we'll give it our best shot and see what we can do, especially in the new teams race," van der Kaay said.
She competed on the course earlier this season and believes its shorter size will benefit her race style.
"It's a huge advantage having already been on there and I love a good sprint finish so that will be good fun," she said.
Van der Kaay credits her development in the sport to mentor Andrea Hewitt, who was her role model growing up and who will be a teammate on the Gold Coast.
"She's been up at the top for a very long time and it's just amazing," van der Kaay said of the 35-year-old Hewitt.
"I've raced against Andrea a couple of times, so it's going to be cool just to be on the start line next to her."