Just four days after the end of the European Short Course Championships, the swim scene in Britain moved to Glasgow for the British Winter Championships, where the new girl on the blocks was 14-year-old Nicola Jackson.
The youngster took on and beat Caroline Foot, who at 33 is the oldest active national team swimmer. Jackson beat Foot in the 50 butterfly in a new British record of 27.58.
But Foot turned the table on her young rival in winning the 100 fly by 29/100ths of a second. Jackson's time of 1:01.47 was a junior record.
However the event was marred by controversy. The organizers had accepted several late entries, including one by Sue Rolph who agreed to swim only in the heats. Her heat time of 1:00.37 was just off the British record. Rolph was announced as a participant in the next round of semi-finals. This caused a string of protests and Rolph had to scratch.
James Hickman, after a very successful year, opted to compete in off events. He was narrowly beaten in the 200 freestyle, but went on to win the 100 and 200 backstroke and the 100 freestyle. His 100 freestyle time of 48.57 was the second fastest ever by a British swimmer, and his 200 backstroke time of 1:55.20 came after a stroke-for-stroke battle with butterfly specialist Stephen Parry.
Commonwealth sprint medallist (silver in the 50 freestyle) Allison Sheppard won her specialties with a 25.10 for the 50 free and a 54.83 for the 100 free. She has made great strides since training in Canada with coach Gary Vandermeulen, in Duncan, B.C.
After his outstanding win at the European Championships, Adam Whitehead took aim at the record of 2:07.79 in the 200 breaststroke, but he took the first 50 way too hard and fell off the required pace to win with 2:10.03, his second-fastest time. His coach Nick Selwood admitted it was a mistake going out so fast.
Britain's Olympic medallists Paul Palmer and Graeme Smith are back on course. Palmer, sidelined most of the summer with a mystery illness, had to take 10 weeks off. He was fourth in the 200 freestyle and his only chance at winning the 400 free would be to take the lead early and run ahead of the field. Palmer won by a second with Smith finishing second.
Smith won the Europeans in the 1500 free with 14:42.29 and won the British title with a time of 14:46.36, nearly 20 seconds ahead of Ian Wilson.