Swim star Sophie makes a splash at Northsea

Midhurst's Sophie Spencer
Midhurst's Sophie Spencer
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MIDHURST’S Sophie Spencer achieved national qualifying times in the 400m and 100m freestyle when she swam in the Portsmouth & Northsea level-one meeting.

The 12-year-old started competive swimming aged seven and has been at Haslemere SC since she was nine.

Sophie has qualified for the Surrey county championships for the past three years. Having swum every weekend in March this year, qualifiying for 13 events and making the final of all and medalling in two, she finished sixth overall in the county for her age group.

She qualified for the south-east regionals last year for five events, taking silver in the 200m freestyle. She has qualified for ten events at the regionals this year. They take place between the end of May to mid-June at the K2 in Crawley.

The Portsmouth event is a four-day meet and a big event on the swimming calendar as swimmers from all over the country come to compete.

Sophie had a very successful time, coming fifth in two events, winning silver in two others and four golds - but her greatest achivement was to qualify for the national championships in 400m and 100m freestyle. That will see her compete in Sheffield in the summer.

The youngster said she was delighted to have qualified at this level and be swimming aganist the top swimmers in the country.

She thanked her coach Andy Snelling and all the coaches who had worked with her at Haslemere.

Sophie trains 14 hours a week before and after school.