TILLY Gray declared herself happy with her work at the British Gas ASA National Age Group Championships after picking up a silver medal in testing circumstances.
The 21-year-old attended her grandfather’s funeral in the run-up to the event at Ponds Forge in Sheffield, and also raced despite being in the middle of a heavy training block.
Formerly of Swindon Dolphin, Gray was fourth in the 100m butterfly in 1:01.54 but went on to grab second in the 200m butterfly after being edged out by Alys Thomas.
While the 100m result did not match her gold at ASA Nationals last month, the silver was an improvement on the bronze she won in the previous major competition, and the ex-Commonweal pupil said her latest results had to be viewed in context.
“It was a tricky week and I was emotionally drained beforehand,” she said.
“I was a bit gutted not to get a medal (in the 100m fly), but my coach told me I couldn’t expect too much as I’ve had so much emotional upset.
“The 200m was a lot better, it was quite a solid swim and roughly the same as I did a month ago (at ASA Nationals).
“I wasn’t rested at all because I’m in harder training than ever for US Nationals in a couple of weeks.
“Most of the people I was up against were well-rested and considering the amount of training I’m doing, I’m quite pleased with it.
“It was good experience but I’m glad they weren’t my last swims of the season.”
Gray will race under the Welsh banner at US Nationals, which will be held in Indianapolis from August 7.
Swindon Dolphin’s young starlet Craig Harris also raced in Sheffield in the mixed disability category.
The 13-year-old was fifth in the final of the 200m freestyle in 2:14.27 and was ninth in the 100m backstroke, with Trowbridge SC’s Paralympics-bound youngster Aaron Moores joint first with Jack Thomas in that race.
Harris was 12th-fastest in the heats of the 100m breaststroke, while Moores went on to take fourth in the final.
Moores’ clubmate Chloe Davies, 13, stormed to gold in the MD 200m freestyle, clocking 2:19.73 as she won by five seconds from Chloe Selman.
Davies, also London 2012-bound, added a bronze in the MD 100m backstroke with a time of 1:12.09.
Corsham’s Paralympic medal hopeful Stephanie Millward touched the wall in 4:48.94 as she was fifth in the final of the MD 400m freestyle.