SALISBURY swimmer Phil Muspratt returned home content with his performances at the British Gas National Youth Championships.
The five-day event saw swimmers from all over Britain, as well as some guest swimmers from Europe, battle it out in Sheffield at the Ponds Forge International Sports Centre.
And Muspratt showed he is more than at home in this sort of company by securing two personal bests and claiming some notable scalps along the way.
His first race was the 100m freestyle where he produced a personal best time of 52.64 seconds to improve on his seeded position by six places, from 32nd to 26th. 2010 Commonwealth silver medallist Jak Scott took gold in the event.
Better was to come from Muspratt as he went into the 50m freestyle seeded 17th. He again produced a personal best time of 23.74 seconds to finish in 13th place, just eight 100ths of a second away from a place in the final.
In the 50m freestyle Muspratt beat Commonwealth Youth swimmer Aaron Rickhuss, national junior record holder Tsubasa Nakagawa and even Commonwealth medallist Jak Scott in the heats, yet he didn’t make the final.
“I’m pleased to have come away with two personal bests, but I know I’m capable of much faster times, especially in my 100m freestyle,” he said.
“My start let me down in both events, so I know what I need to work on.
“I’ve carried an injury the past few weeks so I’ll sort that out in the close season and come back stronger next year.
“To beat such fast guys as Aaron, Jak and Tsubasa and still not make the final just goes to show what a highly competitive event the 50m freestyle is. There’s plenty more to come from me next season and I can’t wait to get started after the summer break.”