SHE trains in a pool most days, but Chloe Baldwin looks more at home in the ocean.

Still only 15, the Hervey Bay schoolgirl showcased her enormous open water talent yesterday by taking second in the Pier to Pub Ocean Swim Classic.

Baldwin finished the 3km swim in 31min 41sec, just 30 seconds behind winner Jessica Bayliss of Brisbane.

"There were a few times when I was sticking my head up so I could see her (Bayliss) and thought 'wouldn't it be nice to catch her?'" she said.

"But it's definitely nice to finish second."

Baldwin's strong performance came six weeks after her remarkable top-10 finish at the Australian Open Water Swimming Championships in Geelong.

The Xavier Catholic College student came ninth in the under-16 girls 10km race, clocking a personal best time of about 2hr 24min, which was seven minutes faster than her previous best.

"It was a real rewarding moment," she said.

"When you're in the middle of a training block you kind of go 'why am I doing this? What if I don't place where I want to place?'

"But when you do it and achieve what you want, it's all worth it."

Baldwin started swimming when she was six, but quickly switched her focus to the longer distances after realising she was more suited to endurance events.

In 2010, she got her first crack at a state open water championship where she surprised herself by making the national qualifying mark.

Her impressive rise since has been no fluke.

She regularly hits the Hervey Bay Aquatic Centre pool at 5.30am and returns to the water for another session after school.

Dragging herself out of bed to spend her early morning watching the black line on the bottom of the swimming pool might sound tough for some, but it's that level of commitment and resilience that gives Baldwin the mental edge to succeed.

"You have to immensely prepare yourself, but more importantly have the belief," she said.

"My coach (Paul Jones) always tells me 'you're physically capable you just have to get it through your head that you can actually do it.

"That's definitely the thing that holds many people back."

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