Melton swimmer Will Graham breaks records to reach GB final

Top Melton swimmer Will won an English title last summer EMN-190424-130537002
Top Melton swimmer Will won an English title last summer EMN-190424-130537002
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Top Melton swimmer Will Graham was in record-breaking mood as he swept to a top-six finish at the British Championships.

Having qualified to swim two events at the championships in Glasgow, the 18-year-old reached the 100m butterfly final and came within a whisker of repeating the feat over 50m.

Will Graham was open age county champion EMN-190424-131659002

Will Graham was open age county champion EMN-190424-131659002

Perhaps most pleasing for Graham was in peaking at the perfect moment, clocking new personal bests over both distances, and setting new record times for Melton Mowbray Swimming Club.

The presence in Glasgow of British swimming sensation Adam Peaty, the world and Olympic breaststroke champion, also added to the sense of occasion.

“It was an amazing experience, swimming against top level swimmers and Olympians,” Graham said.

“It is just so good to see Melton Mowbray in the mix with all the university and city clubs, and it just shows that even a small club like ours can reach a top-level final like this.”

Will was named Junior Sportsman of the Year at this year's Melton Times Sports Awards. Pictured with James Thorn, of sponsors Brooksby Melton College, and finalists Brennan Geoghegan (right) and Chris Randall EMN-190424-131011002

Will was named Junior Sportsman of the Year at this year's Melton Times Sports Awards. Pictured with James Thorn, of sponsors Brooksby Melton College, and finalists Brennan Geoghegan (right) and Chris Randall EMN-190424-131011002

Graham has become one of the town’s most exciting young swimmers in recent years, alongside 16-year-old James Bartley who missed the champinships through injury, and has stayed loyal to Melton despite invites from big city clubs.

He has become a figurehead for the grassroots club, with young clubmates watching his races live via online streaming.

Graham set a brilliant long course personal best and new club record of 56.74secs to qualify for the 100m junior final where he swam to a fine sixth-place finish.

In the 50m butterfly heats he shrugged off a false start from a rival to clock another PB and club record of 25.90secs, just missing out on the final in a highly-competitive discipline.

Alison Boland, of Melton Swimming Club said: “We’d like to commend Will for his dedication and commitment to his swimming, both in the pool and in the gym, and to also thank all of the coaches and volunteers who support all of the swimmers in achieving their goals.

“It was wonderful for Melton Mowbray to be represented at this prestigious meet.

“We are all very proud of Will’s achievements – he has been a true inspiration for our younger swimmers.”

Last summer, Graham became the English 50m butterfly champion at his age group for a second time, a feat which saw him named Junior Sportsman of the Year at the Melton Times Sports Awards in February.

The month also saw Graham, who is supported by Everyone Active, Melton Sports Alliance, and the Joe Humphreys Memorial Trust, pick up eight medals at the Leicestershire County Swiming Championships.