SPRING Gully teenager Bree Mellberg steps up to another major competition on Monday when the national schools diving championships begin at Homebush Bay in Sydney.
Bree and Kangaroo Flat's Jory McDowell earned selection in Victoria's team for the titles.
Bree, 16, will compete in the 1 m or 3 m springboard and 3 m synchro, while Jory's program will be off the 5 m platform and 3 m synchro.
Already this year the talented teens excelled at the Age championships in Adelaide, and were in hot form at the VSSSA state championships.
Bree's feats on the 1 m and 3 m board earned the latest quarterly award in the Bendigo Sportswomen's Association Sports Star of the Year.
"To be named the winner was a great honour," Bree said. "There are a lot of great competitors from all sorts of sports who have earned the award."
Bree said the award not only recognised her dedication to her sport, but also her parents, Jennie and Leigh, and Bendigo coach Heather Tyter.
Bree's build-up to Sydney and more diving competitions has included a move to Melbourne to study at Mullauna College and be closer to Ringwood's indoor diving facilities, and coach Max Swain.
The talented teenager has made remarkable progress in her sport since taking up diving late last year.
Bree said the encouragement from Bendigo coach Heather Tyter and the Bendigo Diving Group had helped achieve many goals.
"Training has its ups and down, especially the early starts at six in the morning," Bree said.
"I have been able to learn some new dives, which have a greater degree of difficulty, but also able to score more if I can do well at them," Bree said of the upcoming titles.
After starting Year 11 at Bendigo Senior Secondary College, Bree said the move to Melbourne had been a "big change" she was still adjusting to.
Bree, who trains six days a week, will leave for Sydney tomorrow morning.
At the Age championships, Bree won three bronze medals and she is looking forward to the challenge of the national schools titles.
The junior elite nationals in Brisbane on July 4-9 is an event Bree may compete at.
"It's one dive and one competition at a time," she said. "The goal is to be the best I can be. If that's good enough to compete at Olympics or Commonwealth Games then I would be rapt."
Not so long ago, Bree was learning dives as Olympic and Commonwealth Games champion, Chantelle Newbery, nee Michell, watched on at a diving camp in Bendigo.
There are several similarities in the path that Chantelle took to being an Olympic champion, and also by Bree.
Both learned gymnastics at Bendigo Gymnastics Centre and began diving in a squad coached by Heather Tyter.