WITH surnames like Bird and Jozephs, anyone could be forgiven for thinking the following is about swimming but Nicola Bird and Breanna Jozephs have been showing that they've an abundance of talent on dry land as well.
Recently competing in the senior NSW All Schools Triathlon in Penrith, the pair comfortably finished in the top 10 which earned them a trip to the Northern Tasmanian town of Devonport to compete in this year's School Sport Australia National Triathlon Championships.
Bird showed a brilliant turn of speed in the swim to exit the water first and posted an overall time of one hour, 10 minutes and 42 seconds for the 750m swim, 20km bike leg and 5km run to finish in sixth position.
Making up a huge amount of time on the run was fellow Toormina High student Jozephs who finished only 20 seconds behind her great mate.
In the lead-up to the trip to Devonport, Jozephs had a tense wait as she was named first reserve in the NSW team as only the first six across the line in Penrith were guaranteed a spot but luck was on her side when the call came through a couple of days after the State champs to pack her bag.
Bird is a relative newcomer to triathlons having only joined the Coffs Harbour Tri Club this season but has impressed many with her commitment to training and the results that have followed.
Jozephs has dabbled in the sport with her father Rod and sister Kaitlin over the past couple of season but has maintained her efforts and training hours into her swimming program.
Making the decision four weeks ago to switch that focus to triathlons is really paying off, in fact both girls further dropped their times for the sprint distance during a club race over the weekend.
This time it was Breanna who finished ahead with a time of 1:06:45 and Nicola was equally impressive coming in 41 seconds later.
Heading off to Tasmania is not a cheap venture by any stretch of the imagination and the trip will cost the girls nearly $2000 each with only two weeks notice to raise the necessary funds.
In true community spirit, Toormina High School's Student Representative Council as well as members of Coffs Harbour Triathlon Club and Sawtell Swim Club have run a sausage sizzle and passed the hat around to assist both girls cover the huge financial cost.
The extra help has come in handy as has the loan of wetsuits to the girls to help them cope with the cold Tassie waters.