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Molly Baker and Katie Lee top the podiums in the Girls 3k races

City of Sheffield’s Molly Baker and City of Salford’s Katie Lee both finished on top of the podium in their respective races at the Swim England Open Water National Age Group Championships.

The pair both came off the back of successful indoor competitions at Sheffield’s Ponds Forge earlier in the season to achieve success at Thrybergh Country Park.

Baker relies on experience to win gold

Baker swam the Girls 15 Years 3k race in a time of 39:07.557 and was just 0.003 ahead of Niamh Hasselwander in second.

The City of Sheffield swimmer added to her three silver medals from the Speedo British Summer Championships and four golds at the Speedo National Summer Meet.

She described it as a ‘perfect way’ to end the season.

Baker said: “It’s really exciting because I went out from the start and I just had to hold at the end but I’m so happy I’ve won.

“I didn’t start off very well so I just relaxed and relied on my longer distance experience and pushed on from there.

“It was a big thing for me to go out in front early so I’m really happy that it paid off.

“It’s the perfect way to end out this season and I can’t wait for the next one.”

Epsom District’s Hasselwander recorded a time of 39:07.560 for the silver medal. Rachel Webb of Bassetlaw earned bronze in 39:13.000.

Lee ‘in disbelief’ after being crowned national champion

City of Salford swimmer Lee was the winner of the Girls 14 Years 3k race.

She earned the 100m Butterfly bronze medal for her age group at the recent Speedo National Summer Meet, but wasn’t a huge open water fan before today.

After taking gold in a time of 39:52.647, she said: “I’m surprised; I really didn’t expect it because I didn’t want to do it.

“I’ve never really enjoyed open water swimming before today, so I was just proud of myself for giving it a go let alone getting gold.

“Winning the gold felt really nice, I’m in disbelief.

“The race went really well. Everyone just kind of sprinted off at the start but I just thought that there’s no point sprinting.

“I just stayed where I was and stayed as close as I could to the Boys race so I could draft off them.”

It was a two-three for Wycombe District with Annabelle Compton (40:01.730) in the silver medal position and Hazel-Anne Carter (4:10.633) winning the bronze medal.

Full results for the 3k races can be found here.

Pictures: Will Johnston Photography