For 10-year-old Graham Schaub, swimming comes as easy as breathing. It’s no surprise that he won gold at this year’s Arizona Age Group Long Course State Championships. The four-day tournament was held in Goodyear, and 40 teams from across the state traveled to compete.
Graham started swimming when he was nine months old at Arcadia Swim for Kids. He took private swim lessons for a year at age four until he signed up for swim courses at Phoenix Swim Club. At age eight, he attended his first meet.
“I enjoy swimming at our home pool, and I liked lessons with Mike, so I followed him to Phoenix Swim Club where I continued training and then began swimming competitively,” Graham said. “I really enjoy the social interaction with the other kids. Plus, it’s great exercise, and it’s fun!”
Graham practices for an hour and 45 minutes every day after school. His dedication played a part in his high rankings at the latest competition. Graham won two gold medals in the 100 and 50-meter backstroke, a silver medal in the 50-meter breaststroke, and a bronze medal in the 200-meter individual medley competition.
Not only did he medal, but he also placed in the top 10 for four other events and was the high point winner for the boys 10 and under division.
“When I found out what I had won, I was exhilarated,” Graham said. “It was hard to believe that I placed first in two events.”
He said that his favorite part of the competition, besides winning, of course, was getting to be part of a team and contribute to everyone’s successes. The worst? Heat delays and lightning!
Graham’s dad, Tristahn, was there to cheer his boy on and said that he loves being part of his son’s athletics. Aside from driving, timing swim lanes and helping to run the concessions, Tristahn also got his certification as a U.S. swimming official.
“It’s a great way to learn more about the sport, spend time with the kids and meet some great people who love giving back,” he said.
“I’m always looking for teachable opportunities, and this was a clear example of how Graham’s efforts have been linked to some amazing results. More important than winning medals, he demonstrated humility, good sportsmanship and a fun, competitive spirit which we love to watch.”
Graham will continue to race at swim meets throughout the Valley and wants to continue to improve and “be the best swimmer I can be.”