Jessie's back on top of the podium at Sheffield

First published in Swimming by

SEAGULLS’ Jessie Foster is a national age group champion once again after missing out last year due to international duty.

The 14-year-old Bournemouth Collegiate School (BCS) student stormed to victory in the 200m breaststroke at the ASA National Age Group Championships in Sheffield.

Foster’s winning time of 2:37.13 was a personal best and put her more than a second clear of her nearest challenger in the 14yrs final.

Her win effectively represents the regaining of a national title after Foster missed out last year in order to compete at the European Youth Olympic Festival.

She is also the first-ever Seagulls national champion after joining the club as an inaugural member of the new BCS swimming academy last September.

Foster also came seventh in the 100m breaststroke final in Sheffield in 1:15.19 and 10th in the 200m individual medley.

Foster’s Seagulls and BCS team-mate Zak Aitchison produced a strong second length to come within 0.2sec of a medal in a blanket finish in the boys’ 13yrs 100m breaststroke in 1:12.76. He also made the 200m breaststroke final, coming sixth in 2:39.21.

Poole’s former national age group champion Alan Wong came within one place of adding to his medals as he finished fourth in the 14yrs 100m backstroke in 1:01.06.

He was also eighth in the 200m backstroke final in 2:15.00.

Poole medal hopeful Jasmine Hol-mes’s third national championships were wrecked by illness.

After performing below par in the 100m and 400m freestyle for 34th and 24th places, she withdrew from the 200m and 800m events but stayed on at Ponds Forge to help Poole’s relay teams who were already affected by the injuries that forced Emily Clarke’s withdrawal.

The 4x100m freestyle quartet of Maddy Kemp (1:01.40), Sophie Eaton (1:04.91), Jade Norman (1:04.19) and Holmes (1:04.22) came 38th in 4:14.72.

In the 4x100m medley relay, the team of Kemp (back 1:10.66), Eaton (breast 1:22.75), Georga Harrison (butterfly 1:12.77) and Holmes (free 1:05.43) were also 38th in 4:51.61.

Kemp meanwhile came 25th in her individual event, the 14yrs 100m butterfly (1:07.18), while Harrison, making her debut at national level, was 15th and 25th respectively in the 12yrs 100 and 200m butterfly in 1:09.97 and 2:40.59.

Fellow debutant Henry Bramwell-Reeks won the battle of the 12-year-old Poole backstroke boys, finishing as the 12th Briton in the 12yrs 200m in 2:29.29 and 15th in the 100m event (1:10.88).

Club-mate Harry Kemp was 20th and 18th in the same events in 2:32.00 and 1:11.88.

Seagulls’ Andrew Botros, swimming in his third nationals, came 15th in the 13yrs 200m butterfly in 2:26.44 and 15th in the 200m backstroke in a personal best 2:23.04.

Another debutant, Seagulls’ 12-year-old Grace Kingsley, who had secured her ticket to Ponds Forge by knocking 21 seconds off her 200m backstroke PB in three months, came 29th in that event in 2:39.94.

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