Tauranga triathlete Lachlan Haycock is just three years into his career but will represent his country on the world stage in August.
The 19-year-old will be part of the New Zealand Junior team to compete at the World Triathlon Championships in Switzerland, in what has already been a big year for the former Tauranga Boy's College student.
Haycock won the New Zealand junior sprint title in February and was second in the junior division at the Sprint Triathlon Oceania Championships in Tasmania the following month.
Haycock says racing at the world champs will be a great experience, but he is there to compete.
"If you don't go to a race wanting to win, you have already lost but to be in a race like that and finish, knowing I have given everything, will be awesome," Haycock says.
"Every race is different and it is why I love it so much. You assess how you did compared with the rest of the field but you could have a really good swim and the rest of the field are better. You also have to also assess how you personally felt it went."
Haycock's result in Tasmania earned him automatic qualification for the world champs, but the preceding months will provide a busy build-up. He will compete in three ITU Continental Cup races in Canada with the first event in Montreal on June 28 and then races in Kelowna and Magog in early July.
"They are all elite races," Haycock says.
"Everyone is faster and more experienced and the dynamics of the race are different to the junior races."
Haycock raced in a Continental Cup event on the Gold Coast last month where he placed 21st in the elite event.
"I made a few little mistakes, which is all part of the learning."
Learning off the course is also a big part of Haycock's life. He is in his first year of studying towards a Bachelor of Health Sport and Human Performance degree with a second major in psychology at the University of Waikato's Tauranga campus.
"Between training and studying I don't have a lot of spare time to do much else, but that is part of it. I do a few papers online so I can fit them in around training and travel. I have always been somewhat organised, but it wasn't until I got into triathlon that I had to plan every day the night before and think about how I would get it all in."
Haycock had not trained or raced as a swimmer before starting triathlon but had some background in mountain biking and running. He is coached by Tauranga's Chris Willett and that relationship began with Willett identifying Haycock's potential.
"I met Chris and he kind of threw me in the pool and I went from hating swimming, to loving it. He had an academy to train athletes and I really went there as a duathlete and it didn't take long for him to say 'we are going swimming'."
Willett says swimming was the big work-on for Haycock and his rise through the ranks has been rapid.
"He was just a quiet determined lad who listened and applied himself so well when he was training. I don't think we could have predicted he would progress so quickly.
Willett will accompany Haycock to Canada along with fellow Tauranga triathletes Hamish Miller and Hannah Knighton, who are also competing. Knighton will also race in Switzerland.
Willett says he will be looking closely at how Haycock handles the elite races in Canada.
"We will look how well he executes the skills in the pressure situations in those races. The goal is to keep training consistently and then we have a little bit of time in New Zealand before Switzerland."
Haycock represents Triathlon Tauranga and is also a member of the Tauranga Ramblers Harrier Club, Tauranga Road Cycling Club and Mount Maunganui Swimming Club.
"The cool thing about tri is you split into different codes. It is really good, you know if you can keep up with the individual codes you know you are doing well."
ITU World Triathlon Championships:
Where: Lake Geneva, Lausanne, Switzerland.
When: August 29 - September 1, 2019.