POOLE’S Jazz McCrea is now the fastest 15 and under freestyler in Britain after an impressive international debut at the European Junior Championship.

The 15-year-old exceeded expectations by reaching the semi-finals of both her events in Netanya, Israel, and described the whole experience as "inspiring".

McCrea, one of the youngest members of a 37-strong British team, was even picked to carry her national flag in the opening ceremony, as her races were not until the last two days.

But it was in the pool that she really made her mark.

She arrived in the 50m freestyle ranked 30th on the start list and third of the four British swimmers.

A Dorset junior record time of 26.36sec placed her 16th in the heats and took her into the semi-finals.

Against mostly older competitors, she then improved to 26.25 to end up 14th and the first of the four Britons.

Her time brings her within 0.37sec of Olympian Karen Legg’s Dorset senior record from 2003.

In the 50m butterfly, McCrea came within 0.02sec of her Dorset senior and junior records with a time of 27.57.

She could not quite repeat this in the semi, finishing 15th and second Brit with 27.69.

She said: “It was amazing to race against all these people from different countries.

“I also learnt a lot about how to manage my time in that heat and environment and how to do things to help me race better, like exercises and resting during the day.

“It has inspired me to work harder and get on to other teams in the future.”

• It was a great week for the McCrea family with Jazz’s brother Leo striking gold five times at the inaugural Swim England National Junior Para-swimming Championships in Sunderland.

The 13-year-old S6 swimmer, coached at Bournemouth Collegiate School (BCS), slashed his PBs to win the multi-classification 14-16yrs 100m freestyle, backstroke and breaststroke and the 50m freestyle and butterfly.

Meanwhile, Poole Swimming Club won the top club award at the Dorset Development Meet at Littledown while Swim Bournemouth (SB) were named improved club based on percentage improvement.

Seagulls’ Emily Hancock and Joshua Rowe from Tornadoes of South Dorset were named top performers overall.

Fastest swim awards for day one went to Poole’s Ella McNamara for her 50m freestyle and West Dorset’s Leon Mowlem for his 100m freestyle.

The equivalent day two awards went to Seagulls’ Maisie Gormley (100m freestyle) and Poole’s Louis Clayton (200m freestyle).

Most improved swimmers were: 50m events: Harry Collinson (Tornadoes, 15.7 per cent), Charlotte Piper (SB, 17.97).

100m events: Jamie Workman (SB, 20.24), Poppy Sanders (Tornadoes, 15.75).

200m freestyle: Arron Hopkins (Poole, 13.97), Grace Crowe (SB, 10.42).

400m freestyle: Archie Corbin (BCS), 14.17), Annabel Drudge (North Dorset Turbos, 6.58).

Individual medley: Thomas Massie (Seagulls, 16.54), Isabella Evans (Poole, 14.4).

200m form strokes (breast, back, fly): Ethan Hanger (Tornadoes, 10.24), Holly Kearns (Tornadoes, 12.36).