When Millie Gooch injured her anterior cruciate ligament in November, her shot at competing at the 2019 Athletics Australia Championships looked in doubt.
Millie had already qualified for the national titles, but faced a tough recovery to prove her eligibility at the NSW Junior Championships in late February - let alone being fit for the main event next month.
But even as she lay in a hospital bed after surgery in December, the 14-year-old never gave up hope.
"I definitely wasn't going to let it stop me," she said this week.
"I had it in the back of my mind that I was always going [to nationals] and didn't look back.
"I just knew that I would get myself ready for it."
Months of physiotherapy and swimming to strengthen her knee again has paid off, but the young athlete with Olympic aspirations admitted "it was hard not running for three months".
"This year I don't really have any expectations, because of what I've come back from," Millie said.
"I'm just hoping to make finals and hopefully get a PB, because that's what I did last year, so if I make that I'll be very happy and I think Mark will be too!
"A big thanks to Mark, couldn't do it without him and I'm sure all the rest of the athletes agree with me that he's kind of been there for all of us through everything."