Hawke's Bay triathlon coach Franco October may have been mentoring Lachie MacGregor for only two months but that's long enough.
Long enough to see the 16-year-old St John's College Year 11 student has a bright future in the sport.
"He has got everything it takes to be a really good athlete. Lachie's attitude is fantastic, he is focused on his goals and I'm excited about what is to come," October said.
"Lachie has a lot of sponsors. Normally sponsors wait till an athlete achieves something before they get behind an athlete so that means a lot."
October pointed out a lot of resources have been thrown at MacGregor and the Hastings District Council has also come on board with pool space which helps ease that financial burden.
"Lachie has a lot of years ahead of him. It's important we keep him in the sport and here in the Bay," October added.
A hooker in the 2017 title-winning Hastings West Ross Shield rugby team, MacGregor, is adamant he's in triathlons for the long haul.
"My heroes are Great Britain's Joe Skipper and the likes of Heather and Wayne Skipworth and Dave Parkes here in the Bay. I really aspire to be like them. I want to pass down my knowledge and experience to future generations. There isn't enough recognition for triathletes in a world dominated by rugby and football and there aren't enough people coming into triathlons ... I want to help change that," MacGregor explained.
Tri Hawke's Bay's most improved junior male last year, MacGregor, had his first taste of a triathlon in 2017. He did the 500m swim leg for a team in IronMaori's Rangatahi section.
The following year the swim leg was cancelled and he finished fourth overall in the Rangatahi (13-17 years age group) section which involved a 2km run, 7km cycle and 2km run.
"I was 14 at the time. I heard about the Tri Hawke's Bay club and I was absolutely hooked," MacGregor recalled.
Last year he won the Rangatahi title at IronMaori on a course which consisted of a 200m swim and 3.5km run. Tomorrow he will tackle the senior section of the Hawke's Bay Secondary Schools triathlon champs and the course will involve a 750m swim, 21km cycle and 5km run.
"I'm hoping for a top three finish. Last year I was fifth overall in the junior section," MacGregor explained.
On March 28 he will tackle the same distances in his first appearance in the Oceania Junior Champs yo be staged in New Plymouth.
"I'll be the youngest in the 16-19 years age group. Because it's my first time going to these champs I have no idea what to expect. I'm going to give it my best and hope for a middle of the pack finish," MacGregor said.
A quick glance at MacGregor's weekly training schedule and it's easy to gauge he won't be underdone upon his arrival in New Plymouth. On Monday he's up at 5.30am for a 10km run. In the evening he is joined by coach October for swim, cycle and gym sessions at Napier's Ocean Spa.
On Tuesday the day begins with a 10km run and after school he completes a 35-45km cycle. Wednesday also begins with a 10km run and after school it's a swim session.
Another 10km run is completed on Thursday morning and in the afternoon MacGregor ticks off a ride with the Uso Cycle team.
Friday is a day off and if he has no events on a weekend Saturday's sessions will involve a 10km run, cycle ride from Hastings to Napier's Perfume Point and a 5km run along the boardwalk. Sunday also involves a 10km and cycle and run sessions later in the day.
"I have still to work out a preferred triathlon yet as there are still distances I haven't done. I've still got to do Taupo's quarter and half Ironman events as well as the Taupo Ironman which I hope to do when I'm 18. I also want to do the IronMaori half and quarter events," MacGregor explained.
Ten months ago he fractured his ankle when riding his scooter.
"Thanks to some high performance strength and conditioning rehab at the EIT Institute of Sport and Health facility in Hastings I was able to hit the ground running again," MacGregor recalled.
He proved he was back full health with his fifth placing in his age group in the National Aquathon champs 1km run and 5km swim staged as part of Napier's Harbour to Hills event in January.
When MacGregor politely asked if he could thank his sponsors and supporters it was obvious he is just as classy as an ambassador for the sport as he is as a competitor. His main sponsors are Shattky Optometrists and Speedy Signs.
"I must also thank my parents [Alex and Claire], coach Franco, my manager [Keirran Stafford], the IronMaori whanau, the amazing team at Tri Hawke's Bay and the Uso Cycling team.," MacGregor added.
Everything suggests MacGregor shouldn't have too much trouble fulfilling his coach's expectations.