IMPRESSIVE CAMPAIGN: A second in yesterday’s Surf Ironman Qualifying Series at Burleigh has secured Mooloolaba’s Hayden White entry into the elite series. INSET: Kirsty Higgison.
IMPRESSIVE CAMPAIGN: A second in yesterday’s Surf Ironman Qualifying Series at Burleigh has secured Mooloolaba’s Hayden White entry into the elite series. INSET: Kirsty Higgison. Harvpixcom Warren Lynam

Coast pair makes series Spot in series secured

A "REBORN"Hayden White says his next Kellogg's Nutri-Grain Ironman Series campaign will be his best, having secured a place in the next edition.

He will be joined by Mooloolaba clubmate Kirsty Higgison, who has also become a certain starter for next summer's elite series.

White qualified for his second series by finishing second in round six of the Surf Ironman Qualifying Series at Burleigh yesterday.

The 25-year-old has enjoyed a dynamite qualifying series campaign and entered yesterday's race on the Gold Coast at the top of the standings. In testing conditions, he finished second to elite ironman series competitor Kendrick Louis.

"If you are going to lose to anyone, it might as well be Kendrick, I suppose," White said.

White contested his first elite series in the summer of 2013-14 but struggled to find form and ended the campaign in 14th place, well outside the re-qualifying bracket.

The experience from that campaign was invaluable, however, and ignited a lingering passion for the demanding sport.

Inspired to dig deep and again earn a place among the best ironmen in the world, White could have found himself in the 2014-15 series if not for a fateful mishap on the ski during a trial last summer.

White moved past that disappointment, but said he has kept the memory "in his pocket" as a constant reminder to inspire him to test himself against the best in the business.

"There are only 15 guys who are in the series and no matter how rich or how hard your work, if you are not there, you are not there," he said.

"I don't go out on weekends or socialise, but at the end of the day this is something money can't buy.

"IT WAS tough missing out last time and you sacrifice so much in your life."

Clubmate Higgison secured her spot in the next ironwoman series by finishing eighth in yesterday's qualifying round.

"I am so stoked have achieved this and I have wanted this for a long time," Higgison said.

"It is a massive opportunity to be on the series because it is the pinnacle of our sport.

"To say that I am on the Kellogg's series is a massive thing for me and I can't wait for it."

Mooloolaba coach Michael King said: "Kirsty has had a wonderful qualifying campaign and has worked very hard to get in. "She has been consistent all year and deserves her place on the series next year.

"She is a great competitor and is only going to get better.

"There are a few others from Mooloolaba that are close, like Tiarnn Raymond, but they need to go well in the final round now."

Mooloolaba's Karlee and Amy Nurthen and clubmate Luke Cuff need a strong result in the final round of the SIQS at Newport on February 28 to make the 2015-16 Kellogg's series.

Amy Nurthen and Luke Cuff competed in this summer's series but failed to requalify.



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