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Imogen Clark warms up for ISL by defending Winter Championships crown

Imogen Clark claimed a national title as part of her preparations for facing the world’s best in the International Swimming League.

The Loughborough University swimmer was victorious in the Women’s 50m Open Breaststroke – retaining the title she won 12 months ago.

Clark swims for Energy Standard in the ISL and will be travelling to Las Vegas for the final on December 20 and 21.

The 20-year-old clocked 29.58 – only 0.15 seconds outside the personal best she set on her way to gold in the 2018 National Winter Championships – and said: “It was a great swim.

“I’ve not rested going into this week so it’s been quite a tough week actually. It’s just been a matter of standing up behind the blocks and racing when you can and I was only 0.1 off my best so that’s looking positive for when I’m rested.

“I’ve only entered day one so I’ve got training for the rest of this week. I’ve got the ISL final in a couple of weeks so that’s my focus – this was just a nice prep meet before I taper down for the ISL.

“My hopes for that is to break the British record. I’ve got to pull out the big guns as I’m racing the best in the world and I’m hoping to stick with them.”

Clark’s Loughborough University team-mate Megan Morrison took the silver medal after finishing in 30.76.

That was 0.51 clear of Millfield’s Lily Booker, who took the bronze and the youth gold medal with her time of 31.27.

She was only 0.02 clear of Angharad Evans, of West Suffolk, who took the youth silver in 31.29, while City of Leeds’ Rebecca Clynes was the youth bronze medallist after recording 31.74.

Happy Hindley sets new best on way to gold

Isabella Hindley broke the 54 second barrier for the first time in her short course career as she set her second personal best of the day to win the Women’s Open 100m Freestyle.

After clocking 54.39 in the morning’s heats, she went even faster in the final to take the gold in a time of 53.76.

It was an impressive performance from the 23-year-old Brompton swimmer who triumphed by 0.66 seconds.

She said: “I’m happy with the swim – it’s a best time and we’re only a little bit rested into this meet so I’m happy to come away with the win.

“I’ve got the 100 IM tomorrow, 50m Back on Saturday and 50m Free on Sunday so I’m just hoping for good races.

“I think that’s what this meet is mainly about for most swimmers – just getting in, racing, having some fun with it and hopefully I’ll get some more best times.

I’ve changed where I’ve been swimming so I’m now in Tennessee this year – I’m just excited to see what else I can do this season.

“I feel that change has definitely helped me I’m with a really great coach and a really great group of people so I’m excited.”

Loughborough University’s Emily Crane was the silver medallist after clocking 54.42 – 0.32 in front of Bromley’s Tamryn Van Selm.

Her time of 54.74 was good enough for the bronze and also the youth gold medal.

Van Selm’s Bromley team-mate Evelyn Davis won the youth silver in 55.14, while Mount Kelly’s Macy Lawrence claimed the bronze in 55.45.

Bowen breaks best again

Loughborough University claimed a one-two in the Men’s Open 50m Freestyle with Alexander Bowen storming to victory.

He clocked a quick time of 21.47 to beat his team-mate Samuel Irvine (22.00) by 0.53 seconds.

It was personal best for Bowen as he knocked 0.24 seconds off his morning heat time.

He said: “It was good, I raced BUCs about three weeks ago and I PB’d there

“I’ve come here this week, got a PB in the heat and PB in the final so couldn’t really have gone much better to be honest.

“I’ve got 100m Freestyle tomorrow and then 50m Butterfly and some more relays, so I’ve got a pretty busy week to be fair but it’s good to be here racing.

“I’m not too sure what to expect for the rest of the week. I’m not getting my hopes up or anything but I just want to do the best I can to be honest and that’s all I can really ask for.

“If I come out of here at the end of the week knowing I’ve given it everything, then I can’t really ask for much more.”

East Leeds’ Ryan Flanagan was the bronze medallist after finishing in 22.22.

The youth gold was claimed by 17-year-old Plymouth Leander swimmer Reid Jones, who finished eighth in the Open Final in 22.69.

Derventio’s Jacob Whittle took second spot in 22.88, while Ealing’s Anton Akopian was third in 23.05.