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James Guy spurs Millfield to dramatic relay gold

Commonwealth bronze medallist James Guy clocked a 49.55 final leg split to inspire Millfield to gold in a nail-biting 4x100m Freestyle Relay to close the opening finals session of the 2014 British Gas ASA National Youth Championships in Sheffield.

Fraser Minnican (52.53), Daniel Speers (51.25) and George Mather (52.38) joined Guy on the podium as Millfield took the touch in 3:25.71 ahead of Carnegie (3:25.75) and Plymouth Leander (3:25.99).

Hughes relishes the last length battle

There was also a breathtaking finish to the Boys 17/18 Years 400m Individual Medley final as Caleb Hughes sliced five seconds off his personal best to overhaul Minnican in the last 5m.

It was the closest individual final of the night as the Hatfield swimmer, who won the Youth 3km Open Water title three days ago, dug deep to touch in 4:23.13 to Minnican’s 4:23.28.

And Hughes admitted a last-gasp dash for the wall usually brought out the best in him.

“I do like a battle like that at the end of a race,” said Hughes. “I like to think I can get it eight out of 10 times on the touch – I prefer a race like that then swimming off on my own.

“I’m not really sure where that came from. It’s a surprise though because I haven’t tapered at all and I’ve just trained into it to focus on the European Open Water Champs really. This morning was pretty easy so I thought maybe I’d go a 27 or 26 and I’d be happy.”

Swansea Aquatics’ Dan Jervis also lowered his personal best by five seconds to take bronze in 4:26.94.

Faulkner and Litchfield also impress

Other impressive winners on the opening night included City of Sheffield’s Eleanor Faulkner in the 19 Years / Over 200m Freestyle and brothers Joseph and Max Litchfield in the 15/16 Years and 19 Years / Over 400m Individual Medley respectively.

Having finished 14th in the same event for Team England on her Commonwealth debut in Glasgow last month, 21-year old Faulkner won in 1:59.07 ahead of Derwentside’s Jessica Thielmann (1:59.99 PB) and Sheffield teammate Rebecca Turner (2:00.05).

“I’m very pleased with that swim,” said Faulkner. “Obviously my heat swim in Commies was a bit slower than that so I’m happy to have gone faster today and win the gold medal.

“Commies was a great experience and there were some good swims with some tough circumstances in the build up. It’s a bonus to be able to come here and swim fast again.”