Ellesmere College students seized a golden opportunity to showcase their talent on a national stage after taking first place at a school tournament in London.

Hettie D’Ammassa (Year 10), Emily Farr (Year 10), Evie Floate (Year 10) and Katie Hale (Year 9) travelled to the capital to represent their college and the West Midlands in the 62nd annual English Secondary School Team Relay Championships.

A strong qualifying round saw the Ellesmere girls earn an invite to the finals of the prestigious championships, which were held at London’s iconic Queen Elizabeth aquatic centre.

The group qualified for the freestyle and medley relay events, and started the day with their freestyle.

A fast race saw them win their heat to qualify for the finals with the third fastest time of the session.

The Ellesmere girl’s hopes of an early medal were dashed though as they were held off by Devonport High and squeezed into fourth place by a mere 0.11 seconds.

But the Ellesmere girls were not deterred, and quickly refocused to compete in the final of the medley relay.

They were seeded first, and a confident qualifying swim saw the Ellesmere girls win their heat with the fastest time of the three heats to take their place in lane four.

A brilliant backstroke leg by Evie, followed by Emily’s excellent breaststroke leg put Ellesmere a short head in front at the halfway stage of the final.

Then Hettie extended the lead to 0.37 seconds with a slick butterfly leg, before Katie flew in the freestyle to hold off a spirited challenge from Sheffield High and finish strongly with 0.91 seconds to spare.

This is the first time that Ellesmere’s name has appeared on the Leicester Bowl, where the winners stretch back to 1969.

Coach Marc Foster, head of age group swimming at Ellesmere College Titans, said he is very pleased of the group’s effort.

“The girls are excellent individual competitors and have been training hard,” he said.

“Becoming national schools champions will hopefully encourage them to now work even harder in the lead up to next year’s British nationals.”