GAME ON: Kaylee McKeown is gearing up to make her milestone debut on the Commonwealth Games stage.
GAME ON: Kaylee McKeown is gearing up to make her milestone debut on the Commonwealth Games stage. Patrick Woods

Kaylee bolstered by support network

SWIMMING: She may be the youngest member on the Australian swim squad destined for glory in Commonwealth Games waters but Kaylee McKeown isn't too fazed by the pressure.

The 16-year-old USC Spartan swimmer says when she's chasing guidance or a nudge in the right direction she has plenty of support to rely on.

It's not far away either, with her sister Taylor, who is an accomplished Rio Olympian, on the team.

"It was very good to have her on my first senior team last year and she definitely showed me all the ropes,” Kaylee said.

"So having her on the team again is definitely something I look forward to because she's always someone I can look up to and have a chat to if I need to.”

Her next port of call comes in the form of Emily Seebohm.

Although Kaylee has toppled the Olympian three-times in previous meets, she still looks to her as a major influence and guiding light in the pool.

Having triumphed against the season professional in recent meets has been a big boost to confidence according to Kaylee.

"To have Emily there (is great) she's definitely up there as role model and she's won so many international medals and has got a such a legacy behind her,” Kaylee said.

"So to have three wins under my belt by a small margin is something, but I don't really look at the wins I more look at the times and how I performed.

"I probably use her and my sister the most as my role models and to even been racing her in the same race is just phenomenal.”

Kaylee will dive into the Optus Aquatic Centre to contest the 100m and 200m backstroke, along with the 400m IM.

After breaking into the international scene last year Kaylee was still pinching herself to be nearing a Commonwealth debut but believed it was earned.

"No one really expects to make the team (but) it's not all just luck,” she said.

Kaylee's selection for the Gold Coast Games comes off the back of a stellar 2017 in which she earned a junior world record and fourth place finish at the world championships.



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