DORSET'S youth team will be back in Division One of the National County Team Championships next year after grabbing one of the four promotion places on offer at the second-tier showdown.

The team achieved a fine second place behind Scotland West at Sheffield, their best result since the county’s only Division Two title in 2011.

Devon and Sussex claimed the other two promotion places.

The challenge next year will be to try and hold on to top division status against counties such as Lancashire and Yorkshire, whose areas include major cities and populations many times that of Dorset.

That’s something Dorset have achieved only once before – in 2009, when an earlier generation of swimmers came 12th in Division One.

The other five top-tier campaigns all ended in relegation while 12 Division Two campaigns have yielded six promotions, earning Dorset a reputation as a “yo-yo” county.

Girls’ captain Jasmine Holmes (Poole), swimming in her sixth inter-county competition, led from the front, winning the very first event, the 16-17yrs 100m freestyle.

The 17-year-old’s time of 56.99 was her first under 58 seconds and improved her ranking from fifth to first in the division.

Poole’s British junior champion Jacob Peters won the 16-17yrs 100m butterfly by more than a second in 55.56.

He was also third in the 100m freestyle and helped team-mates Henry Stanbrook (Swim Bournemouth), Luke Roxburgh and Matt Collins (both Poole) to second in the 16-17yrs medley relay.

Boys’ captain Roxburgh was third in the individual 100m breaststroke.

Bournemouth Collegiate School’s Harriet Perfect led from start to finish in the girls’ 16-17yrs 100m backstroke (1:04.32) as did BCS’s Ella Chown in the 12-13yrs 100m butterfly (1:04.18).

The girls’ 14-15yrs team of BCS trio Honor Davies, Kayla van der Merwe and Izzy Pryce and Poole’s Jazz McCrea won their medley relay.

Van der Merwe was also second in the 100m breaststroke and McCrea third in the 100m butterfly.

Finley Jarvis (West Dorset) and Swim Bournemouth’s Amy Brown were respectively second and third in the boys’ and girls’ 12-13yrs 100m breaststroke.

Brown and Chown joined Ella-Rose Bowman (Swim Bournemouth) and Jess Kelleway (Poole) to nail second place in the 12-13yrs medley relay.

Dorset head coach Barry Alldrick said: “It was great to see athletes from six Dorset clubs working together and delivering such a strong team performance.”

Division Two result: 1 Scotland W 554, 2 Dorset 527, 3 Devon 490, 4 Sussex 455, 5 Worcs 445, 6 Warwicks 436, 7 Staffs 385, 8 Cumbria 376, 9 Lincs 372, 10 Northants 366, 11 Cambs 350, 12 Norfolk 333, 13 Wilts 309, 14 Beds 266, 15 Cornwall 263, 16 Shropshire 236.