LUCY Brain became only the second swimmer to break a county record during the 2014 Dorset championships as she won an 800m freestyle thriller.
After 32 lengths of the Weymouth pool, less than a third of a second separated the Swim Bournemouth 14-year-old and Poole’s Emily Clarke, 16.
In the very last race of this year’s championships, the two girls swam neck and neck before Brain touched the wall 0.31sec ahead. Both went under nine minutes for the first time.
Brain’s time of 8:58.57 not only won her the senior, junior and age group titles but shaved 0.08sec off Welsh international Kim Rowles’ short-course junior county and junior championship records, set in 2008.
Brain toppled Rowles’s long-course 800m record in December.
Clarke’s time of 8:58.88 – a nine-second PB – not more than five seconds off Charlotte Evans’s 16yrs competition best time (CBT from 2000) and won her the senior silver medal and age group gold.
Swim Bournemouth 13-year- olds Harriet Perfect and Jemma Green had their own battle for the minor championship medals.
Perfect’s time of 9:15.78 won her the senior bronze and junior silver with Green, half-a-second behind, taking the junior bronze.
Other age group winners included Poole’s Jasmine Holmes (15yrs) and Swim Bournemouth’s Hannah Stonier (12yrs).
Before this event, Brain’s Swim Bournemouth team-mate Jay Lelliott was the only person to break county records during the 2014 championships.
Lelliott pulled out of the 1500m freestyle at Weymouth to focus on next month’s trials for the Commonwealth Games but club-mates Jordan Young and Ben Wickens, aged 16 and 15, provided another close race.
Andrew Botros, swimming his last race for Seagulls before following coach Barry Alldrick to Poole, swam stroke-for-stroke with Young for half the race before dropping off the pace.
Wickens then closed the gap on his team-mate before Young took the senior title in 16:56.64, half-a-second ahead of Wickens, whose 16:57.20 won him the junior gold.
Botros’s 17:18.82 secured him the senior bronze and junior silver with Swim Bournemouth’s 13-year-old Ben Samuel claiming the junior bronze in 18:01.09.
Bournemouth Collegiate School’s Finn Trehane was the only record-breaker in the 1500m, smashing the 12yrs CBT with a time of 18:44.67. His team-mate Max Rutherford was also inside the old record with 19:00.14.
Other age group winners were Swim Bournemouth’s Henry Stanbrook (14yrs) and Oliver Fairman (11yrs) and Seagulls’ Nathan Gerrard (10yrs).