COROWA teenager Taylor Baker is now a national champion.
The Xavier High School student was part of the Victorian under-13 hockey side that beat Western Australia 1-0 in the grand final of the Australian titles in Melbourne recently.
The Vics had earlier in the competition been beaten by the Sandgropers 2-1.
Baker played every game in the national series.
He said the toughest challenge for the players and their families was the twice-weekly trips to Melbourne for training in the nine-week lead-up.
“It was a huge commitment for players and parents with training — at least I had my iPad,” he said.
“We went into the nationals thinking we were a chance but not necessarily thinking about winning.
“It was a very strong competition — the hockey really fast.”
Six other Hockey Albury Wodonga juniors won medals.
Riley Sutherland, Jaymie Plas, Isabella Kramer and Imogen Albon were in a Vics under-15 side that came third and Connor Crimmin and Andrew Nixon in an under-15 boys that also won bronze.