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Swimmer with eye on the future

PUBLISHED: 10:39 07 August 2008 | UPDATED: 14:39 07 July 2010

Marcella Aris, 12, a student of Northgate High School, Dereham who swims for UEA City of Norwich, has just returned from her first appearance in the prestigious National Age Group Swimming Championships having just missed out on a medal.

Marcella Aris, 12, a student of Northgate High School, Dereham who swims for UEA City of Norwich, has just returned from her first appearance in the prestigious National Age Group Swimming Championships having just missed out on a medal.

Known to all swimmers as just The Nationals, they were held at Ponds Forge International Swimming Venue in Sheffield.

Of all the swimmers aged 11-13 girls and 11-14 boys countrywide who aspire to reach these championships only two per cent actually make the qualifying times.

Due to this year's achievements, Marcella has been chosen to attend a series of training camps with the ASA Talent Development Programme.

The Championships were held over four days, all the events swum over the Olympic distance of 50m with all 10 lanes used in heats and finals.

The arena has an electric atmosphere with lights and music, a large scoreboard which flashes up the swimmers' names and club, making for lots of nervous swimmers and parents and lots of adrenaline pumping.

Marcella qualified in three individual events and for the team relay. She gave a good account of herself in all the events - 200m freestyle, 200m backstroke and 400m freestyle, setting personal bests in both 200m events. She came 15th in 200 freestyle in a time of 2:15.67, 12th in the backstroke in 2:34.02 and 17th in the 400m freestyle.

Marcella agonisingly missed out on bringing a medal home from the last race of the last day in the 4x200m relay. The four members of the UEA City of Norwich womens team performed magnificently, all producing personal bests, Marcella bringing her 200 freestyle time down to 2:14.35, and missing out on third place by less than a quarter of a second.

It was a marvellous experience for Marcella who will aim to qualify and build upon her successes next year


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