Melton swimmers qualify for British Championships

Will Graham on the starting blocks at the British Championships 100m butterfly final EMN-170614-085310002
Will Graham on the starting blocks at the British Championships 100m butterfly final EMN-170614-085310002

Melton swimmers Will Graham and James Bartley will pit themselves against the best of British this summer thanks to some impressive recent form.

The pair will fly the flag for Melton Mowbray Swimming Club at both the British and English Summer National Championships at the end of July.

Graham followed his national medal double by becoming the first Melton swimmer to compete at the British Championships EMN-170614-085320002

Graham followed his national medal double by becoming the first Melton swimmer to compete at the British Championships EMN-170614-085320002

Medal-winning performances at the East Midlands Youth Championships helped seal their places with Graham becoming the district butterfly champion at 50m.

The reigning Melton Times Junior Sportsman of the Year also picked up a silver over 100m, while Bartley won 200m breaststroke bronze.

Graham, who is backed by Leicester-shire and Rutland Sport’s GoGold scheme, will compete at both 50m and 100m butterfly at the British Championships, and 200m and 400m freestyle, and 200m individual medley at the English nationals.

Last year he became the first swimmer from the Melton club to qualify for the British Championships shortly after winning two medals at the English championships.

Bartley, meanwhile will compete in the 400m individual medley at the British finals, while a gruelling schedule awaits at the English champs - , 200m butterfly, 200m individual medley and 400m and 1500m freestyle.

The pair formed part of the largest-ever Melton squad to qualify for the East Midlands Youth Championships, held at Ponds Forge, in Sheffield.

The 17-strong squad took part in 26 events over three days with numerous personal bests and 24 final places.

The squad consisted of Will Graham, James Bartley, Luke Haywood, Ianthe Brittain, Will Brighty, Tom Rochelle, Zsolt Pecsi, Charlotte Seagrave, Clarice Ellingworth, Jasmine Burton, George Peberdy, Charlie Sharpe, Isobel Barnes, Connor Boylan, Kasey Robson, Tia Keightley and Tom Barnes.

There were some very hard-fought finals, with several swimmers narrowly missing out on a medal.

Graham also finished fourth in the 200 IM, a position shared by Charlie Sharpe in the 50m backstroke.

And there were fifth-place finishes for Clarice Ellingworth (50m breaststroke), Zsolt Pecsi (100m backstroke), James Bartley (200m backstroke), and Will Brighty (50m breaststroke).