TORNADOES of South Dorset swimmers achieved six top-three finishes at the combined City of Bristol and Exeter open meet in Hengrove.
The impressive 50-metre pool was the venue for the second week of the Regional Age Group Championships, and this meet was a last chance to qualify for the younger swimmers.
Both Josh Frampton and Josh Rowe were close to qualifying following good swims at open meets earlier in the season, so it was do-or-die for them to make the age group championships.
Rowe set a new long course personal best in the 100m backstroke but just missed out on the regional qualifying time (RQT).
He followed that swim with two more lifetime bests in the 50m and 200m backstroke.
However, he was just short of the required time and will now concentrate on junior league action as boys’ captain and training for his next major competition, Dorset’s development meet in July.
Frampton has made great strides this year and he started well with a new long course PB in the 100m backstroke gaining him a silver medal.
Unfortunately, it was not quite good enough for the age group championships.
The youngster then had a great start in the 100m freestyle and recorded another PB, which turned out to be 0.02 seconds inside the RQT.
Both swimmer and his coach were delighted and Frampton is now preparing for his regional competition debut.
The senior girls had only been at the youth regionals two weeks previously and were already back in training, but that did not stop them producing more impressive long course PBs.
Girls’ captain Rebecca Beal started with a steady 200m individual medley before producing PBs in the 100m and 50m breaststroke, breaking her own 50m club record set in Plymouth just 14 days earlier.
She also reduced her 100m time by another 0.25 seconds and was just off her best time in the 200m breaststroke.
Jenny Scott had qualified for the 50m backstroke in the nationals in Plymouth, but a stunning performance in the same event in Hengrove saw her lower her previous best time by 0.6 seconds to improve her entry position – she picked up a gold medal too.
She went on to improve her times in both the 50m freestyle, where she claimed silver, and in the 100m freestyle, where she picked up a bronze.
A late entry saw her swimming the 100m butterfly and she finished fourth.
She now has a number of exams ahead of her before returning to training for the nationals in August.
Chris Beal, Tornadoes’ lead coach, was again impressed with the swimmers’ performances.
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