DORSET’S Commonwealth Games star Jay Lelliott collected his first national medal – just two weeks after making his international debut.
Lelliott, 19, who came sixth in the 1500m freestyle final at Glasgow 2014, ended a long wait for domestic gold when he touched second in the 19-and-over 400m freestyle at the ASA National Youth Championships in Sheffield.
And as the only man ahead of him was Canadian, Lelliott was awarded the national gold medal as well as an international silver.
The medals ended days of frustration for the Swim Bournemouth and Bath Uni swimmer, who missed out on medals in his first three events.
He came seventh in the 200m freestyle and backstroke but was particularly unfortunate in the 200m butterfly, recording the fastest time in the heats with 1:58.66, only to slip back to 2:00.18 in the final.
This placed him fourth overall and second British but did not win him a medal.
“I was getting so down after that especially as my heat time would have got me silver in the final,” said Lelliott, who also narrowly missed out on medals last year.
“I just wanted a medal and I was so pleased to get it in the 400m.”
Lelliott’s hectic summer of swimming continues next week when he makes his European Championship debut in Berlin.
Bournemouth Collegiate School’s Beth Aitchison smashed the Dorset record to claim a surprise silver medal in the 17-18yrs 200m individual medley (IM).
Her time of 2:17.40 knocked more than half-a-second off the county mark, set in 2005 by GB international Alex Savage.
She was also fifth in the 200m breaststroke in 2:34.90 and sixth in the 50m breaststroke (32.47) and a 100m breaststroke (1:11.76) won by Plymouth’s Lithuanian world and Olympic champion Ruta Meilutyte in 1:05.21, quicker than her winning time at London 2012.
Aitchison said: “I was surprised to get a medal although my IM times have come down drastically in the past year.”
A second Dorset record fell to Poole’s Noah Vides, who lowered his county standard to 1:07.14 in the 17-18yrs 100m breaststroke heats.
He came 16th in the semi-finals in 1:07.46.
Club-mate Fiona Hardie, now training in the US, made the finals in five of her six events in a star studded 19/o category.
Her best place was fifth in the 200m butterfly in 2:19.54. She was also sixth in the 200m
IM (2:20.83), seventh in the 50m freestyle (26.67) and 100m butterfly (1:01.73), 10th in the 50m fly (28.13) and 14th in the 100m freestyle (58.46).
Poole’s Emily Clarke and Inez Griffin also made their first semi-finals at this level.
Clarke came 18th in the 15-16yrs 200m backstroke in 2:23.46 after clocking 2:22.59 in the heats.
Griffin was 20th in the 17-18yrs 200m breaststroke in 2:46.11 (heat 2:44.85).
Team-mate Madison Kemp set three club records as she came 25th and 27th in the 15-16yrs 100m butterfly and 50m freestyle (1:04.63 and 27.48), 41st in the 100m freestyle (1:00.41) and 55th and 85th in the open 50m fly (29.34) and 50m breaststroke (34.99).
Zak Aitchison (BCS) was 29th in the 15-16yrs 50m freestyle in a PB of 25.01 and 30th in the 100m breaststroke (1:08.94) but pulled out of the 200m breast after aggravating a groin injury.
Poole’s girls’ 4x100m freestyle team of Kemp, Clarke, Katie Mills and Jaz Holmes, who only got their place at Sheffield as reserves after another team pulled out, slashed five seconds off their entry time to rise from 39th to 17th in 4:00.17.