Grantham schoolgirl Freya Colbert competed against Olympic swimmers and brought home a clutch of medals from the National Winter Championships at Ponds Forge in Sheffield.
The 13-year-old earned silver medals in the 400m and 200m individual medleys, gold in the 800m freestyle relay and bronze in the 400m freestyle relay.
The KGGS pupil, who lives in Grantham but swims for Nottinghamshire’s Nova Centurion swimming club, shone despite competing against swimmers older than her in the 15-and-under junior category.
The competition was used as a qualifier for next year’s Commonwealth Games, but Freya was not fazed to find herself in the pool with world-class swimming stars such as Aimee Wilmott, Rosie Rudin and Georgia Coates.
Freya said: “It was amazing to be lining up against Olympians and swimmers who until recently I only saw from the stands and on TV.
“To be swimming in the same competition as them was a big step up. My results were a great surprise, but I am beginning to learn that these high-level competitions are where I want to compete, testing myself against the best in the country.
“It was a great experience and I learnt a lot from the competition.”
The teenager has a gruelling training schedule, travelling almost daily to Nottingham to swim after school with Nova and also spending two mornings a week swimming with her old club, Grantham.
She added: “I get so much support and help, not only from my family, but my friends from swimming and at school. I couldn’t do it without them.”
Next stop for Freya will be the British Championships at Edinburgh in March.