WESTBURY teenager Paige Fellows is still coming to terms with rubbing shoulders with some of her idols after competing at the British Gas Swimming Championships.
The 15-year-old, who is a member of Trowbridge Amateur Swimming Club, earned a dream berth at this week’s British Championships after notching up a personal best in the 50m freestyle last July’s Swim Wales Summer Nationals in Swansea.
In Friday’s heats at the Tollcross International Swimming Centre in Glasgow, Fellows smashed her personal again to notch up a time of 27.04 seconds, which the Kingdown School pupil matched again during Saturday’s junior final to finish a respectable seventh.
“It still doesn’t feel real – I got an email from my coach (Sarah Paton) in December to say that I was going to the British Champs and was speechless,” said Fellows, who was cheered on by mum Betty and dad Stuart in Glasgow.
“I was so nervous beforehand but when I was in the cool room, I was sat next to (Commonwealth Games gold medallist) Fran Halsall.
“She’s my absolute idol and it calmed me down seeing her but I couldn’t say anything because she was getting ready for a race – I couldn’t believe that I was swimming in the same pool as all these Olympians.
“I got a new PB in the heats and the same time in the final. I wasn’t expecting that and I don’t think mum and dad were either.
“It was amazing and I’d love to qualify again next year.”
Fellows’ Kingdown schoolmate Daniella Whiting was 13th in the open 400m individual medley event while Jessie Foster notched up a new personal best of 1:12.67 as she finished fourth in the junior 100m breastroke final, the Holt swimmer also finishing fourth in the junior 200m final (2:36.01).
Melksham’s Rachel Williams was seventh in the women’s 100m backstroke final.
Corsham Paralympic star Stephanie Millward was fifth in the SM10 200m individual medley.
The 32-year-old, who also competed at Dehli 2010 and swims for the Bath-based Aquae Sulis club, clocked in at 2:40.03, with world champion Amy Marren taking gold.
Corsham ASC youngster Craig Harris finished fourth in the men’s S14 200m freestyle with a time of 2:07.51.
- TROWBRIDGE ASC were presented with the Wiltshire Moonraker Winter League shield after defending their title for the fourth year running.
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