JESSICA HARPER had the best weekend of her life when the Chelsea & Kensington swimmer was added to an elite programme fast-tracking her towards the 2012 Paralympics.
Just six months ago the 14-year-old was a mere wannabe on the verge of competing in her first London Disability Championships.
But fast forward to last Saturday at the Forge Ponds Centre in Sheffield, and her precocious talent saw Harper pick up two silvers and three bronzes in the DSE National
Junior Championships as she mixed it with Britain's best including established Paralympians.
As a result, she has been nominated for the South-East Region Talent Programme - essentially the passport to the 2012 Games should she continue to progress in the same way.
Harper swims in the S9 disabled category, where she hacked lumps off three of her previous personal bests, including nearly two seconds off her silver-winning 50m backstroke.
She also helped set what could be a new Great Britain record as anchor leg in the 4x100m relay subject to ratification, a feat that's astounded even C&K coach Ian Brown.
He said: "Jess's progress is astounding, and to get the nod for the Talent Programme gives her every chance of being on the biggest stage of them all in three years time."
* THE CUP was still half-full for Ian Brown at the Middlesex Championships over the weekend.
The Chelsea & Kensington coach saw four of his talents win twogolds and two bronzes - but also had to bite his tongue when others were disqualified for various offences, including the classic no-no of failing to touch the pool-side with both hands in the breast stroke.
The coach's blood pressure was eased when he watched Charlotte Hogarth win the 200m medley in 2:59.34secs - the only swimmer in the 10rs-age-group to go under three minutes.
Emma Cain's victory margin in the 200m breaststroke was almost a third of a length - and this was her first championship. There were excellent third places for Romane Bokkerink in the 1500m free and Patrick Jack in the 200 medley.