AFTER 18 months out of the sport, nobody could deny Lennox Head swimmer Keatyn Simpson the chance to compete in the Olympic selection trials at Adelaide.
The 20-year-old made the semi-finals of the 100m and 200m breaststroke events.
Simpson has been back in the pool for a year and shaved four seconds off her personal best time in the 200m on Monday night.
She finished 10th in the 200m and 11th in the 100m.
"I was very happy with how I went and it was a good experience going down there," Simpson said.
"It's been a journey just to get back to that level after having the year off.
"It's good to know I can still compete at that level and I needed to know that."
Simpson decided to step away from swimming to explore other avenues after years of dedicating herself to the sport.
She might not have earned a place on the Australian team to compete at the London Olympics in July but she is targeting selection in the years ahead.
Simpson said it was a thrill to swim at the same event as veterans Ian Thorpe and Geoff Huegill.
"It's such a good event because all the big names are there," she said.
"All the old guys were finishing up and there were a heap of young ones coming through too.
"It was awesome to be in a lane warming up and having someone like Ian Thorpe next to you."
Simpson is trained by her father Alan at the Lennox Aquatic Centre and keeps busy by running a swim squad and a supplement business.
Alan was thrilled with how his daughter performed.
"It's exciting to see her back in the water," he said.
"I think it will be about a two-year process to get her back to where she was.
"She is swimming up to expectations and we're right on track with the two-year plan."
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