WIDE Bay Capricorn branch regional manager Craig Holden expects big things from the 54 locals who will contest the 2012 Queensland Junior Championships at Maroochydore this weekend.
More than 1500 of the state's top juniors will do battle, with Bundaberg the best represented local club with 28 team members, and Moore Park, Elliott Heads and Agnes Water also sending competitors.
Holden said medals would be hard to win due to the tough competition, but that the Bundaberg under-14 boys, led by Jacob O'Shea, a dual state medallist last year, looked to have great chances across the weekend, particularly in some of the team events.
"Their U14 male surf teams, board rescue and board, cameron and beach relay teams all should feature in finals and, with an ounce of luck, a few team medals could make their way back to town," Holden said.
"Individually, O'Shea will be hoping to at least replicate last year's results that saw him collect silver in the beach sprint and bronze in the flags, but he should also be a contender in the board race, along with his clubmates Corey Findlay and Lewis McLure.
"Another teammate Zac Swift has to have a great chance in the surf race, being a nationally ranked pool swimmer, while Joshua Finnis will be hoping to perform well in the surf race and ironman in the same age group."
Holden said other Bundaberg competitors who could feature included Ella Cummings (U13 female) and U11 male duo William Wood and Joshua Zahn.
He also said Elliott Heads's hopes would be headed by Liam Wootton, Riley Batt and Martin Powell.
"Wootton has a great chance to battle it out with O'Shea in the U14 male sprint and flags, while Batt will be one of the leading contenders in the U14 female sprint and flags," he said.
"Powell will also be looking for success in the same two events in U12 male."
Holden believes that Moore Park's leading chances could also be in beach events.
"U13 female competitor Maddison Giudice will be in the mix in the flags and sprint, while her younger brother Thomas could be a sneaky chance in the two events in U11 males," he said.
"Jake Tolvanen could also figure in the U13 male flags final if his good local form continues.
"Both Moore Park and Bundaberg will also field march past teams and we can expect both to be competitive in what will be a strong field."
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