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Robert Melsom has announced that he will be continuing his athletic and academic career at the University of Pennsylvania this fall. Melsom is currently wrapping up his final year at St. Petersburg High School. He swims year-round for St. Petersburg Aquatics, which is notably the former club team of U.S. Olympic medal-winning distance swimmer Bobby Finke.
“I am humbled and honored to announce my verbal commitment to the admissions process at the University of Pennsylvania in furthering my athletic and academic career. I am beyond blessed to have this opportunity and want to thank Coaches Fred, Finke, and Schnur as well as my family, friends, and teammates for their unwavering support. Go Quakers!”
Similar to Finke, Melsom is a true distance freestyler who swims the occasional IM event. He currently holds Summer Junior National qualifying times in the 500 and 1650 freestyle. This past November at the Florida 3A State Championship, Melsom recorded top-8 finishes in both of his events, earning 3rd in the 500 (4:34.01) and 7th in the 200 IM (1:53.83).
Top SCY Times:
200 free – 1:41.90
500 free – 4:28.08
1000 free – 9:13.91
1650 free – 15:29.30
200 IM – 1:53.66
400 IM – 4:01.47
This summer, Melsom competed at the Plantation Speedo Sectionals, where he earned as high as a 5th place finish in the 800m free (8:36.35). He also advanced to the A-final in the 400m free, where he clocked a 4:12.07 in finals for 7th. In the 200m free, Melsom posted a 1:57.79 to shave off a few hundredths from his personal best time. He went on a few weeks later to drop two more seconds in the event, finishing the season with at 1:55.22.
The Quakers placed 3rd behind Harvard and Princeton at last year’s Ivy League Championships. Will Kamps led the milers last season at conference, earning 8th with a time of 15:13.63. Michael Foley and Billy Fallon also placed in the top-16, ending up 10th and 12th, respectively. Foley, currently a sophomore, is the only athlete of that group to return and has been as fast as 15:32.50 this season.
Melsom joins Weifan Zhang, Liam Campbell, Alan Zhang, and Benjamin Ham in the Quakers’ class of 2027. This class is well-rounded in terms of what they swim as Weifan Zhang swims similar events to Melsom, while Alan Zhang specializes in fly and Ham in backstroke. Campbell is the lone sprinter of the group, and they are without a true breaststroker.
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