Maisie caps some excellent displays in the pool with butterfly gold

Charlie Poole, Maisie Elliott and Jay Newman
Charlie Poole, Maisie Elliott and Jay Newman

Four local swimmers competed across six days of highly-competitive swimming at the British Summer Championships at Ponds Forge, Sheffield.

Only the fastest 24 swimmers in the UK in each age group, for each event, qualified for the British Summer Championships.

Times had to be set within a three-month qualification window from March to May this year.

Jay Newman was the first-ever swimmer to represent Market Harborough swimming club at the British Nationals, qualifying for the 200m butterfly, 200m and 400m individual medleys in a challenging year which also saw him studying for his GCSEs.

Charlie Poole and Maisie Elliott, who swim for City of Leicester, and Ailsa McDonald, who swims for Northampton Swimming Club had punishing schedules across the six-day meet.

McDonald qualified for five individual events, swimming for the first time in the joint 17/18 age group, while Poole, also in a joint age group, and Elliott made sixindividual events each.

They also represented their club in the relay events.

Poole made the finals in the 100m backstroke where he came 10th (fourth 17-year-old) in a time of 58.95 seconds.

He swam a personal best of 4:02.60 to finish seventh in the 400m front crawl (fourth 17-year-old) and had an outstanding swim in the 800m front crawl where he improved his best by seven seconds to finish fourth and become the second-fastest 17-year-old in Britain.

McDonald made finals in the 200m and 400m individual medleys coming 10th in both in season best times of 2:21.97 and 5:01.89 respectively.

She came ninth in the 200m breastroke final in a season’s best time of 2:36.71, finishing as the third 17-year-old.

Elliott had an outstanding championships making age group finals for all six of her events – setting personal bests for all of them along the way.

She came sixth in the 100m front crawl, fifth in the 200m and fourth in the 400m front crawl.

She went even better in the 50m butterfly (27.88 seconds) and 200m butterfly (2:16.03) where she took silver but capped it with gold in a tightly-contested 100m butterfly where she became British age group champion in 1:00.83 – a time that would have won the age group above.