COME this month end some 1 500 athletes will be assembling for the National Schools Cycling, Swimming and Track and Field Championships, better known as Nationals.It’s Guyana’s longest-running multi-sport schools event, and for many participating it’s usually an honour just being there, even if they don’t get a chance to earn one of those medals. However, one athlete who is looking forward to this year’s event is Tiffauna Garnett.For Garnett, she hopes to use this year’s event to improve her performance as a national athlete. The super upcoming runner will be representing the South Georgetown District 13 at the esteemed event, where athletes from across 15 different districts will be participating.Garnett, who has achieved only a silver medal at Nationals, is really hoping to secure gold. But there will be at least two major hurdles for the Freeburg Secondary School student – national athletes Kenisha Phillips and Deshauna Skeete.To date, Skeete and Phillips have been Guyana’s top performing female sprinters, solidifying their places with recent medals on the international scene. But Tiffauna, who has been developing her skills over the years, says that she’s ready to throw her hat into the ring in a big way.“Once I train, I know I can go forward for it. So far my training has been coming along good. I’ve been training in the morning and afternoons just for this from 06:00hrs,” Garnett said.Garnett will be running in the Girls’ Under-18 category in the 100m, 200m and 400m as well as in the long jump.At least in the sprints, she is sure to encounter Phillips, who will be representing North Georgetown District 11.But Phillips has been enjoying a great year, most recently medalling at the South American Youth Games. She’s also the reigning Girls’ Under-18 100m champion.But, despite the challenge, a confident Garnett is looking forward to the competition.Like the other students, over the past few weeks, Garnett has been going through the rounds from inter-house, to inter-school, to inter-zone, to qualify for a spot on the South Georgetown District’s team to Nationals.And it has so far been an easy task, after she took major wins; so she’s looking forward to the challenge to help push her towards improving her skills.This will be Garnett’s fourth year at Nationals, having competed consecutively since 2014. It was in the Girls’ Under-12 category that she won silver in the 100m.After making it to Nationals and realising she had a talent in athletics, Garnett decided to join a club, with the encouragement of her father. From there she has been measuring her improvements and is really looking forward to using this year’s Nationals to see how far she’s come.