Grafton High Senior Swims To College Scholarship

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Grafton High senior, Kyle Durand, signed a letter of intent to attend the University of Maryland at Baltimore County. Photo Credit: Photo courtesy of Karen Durand

GRAFTON, Mass. — Here is the daily schedule for Grafton High School senior Kyle Durand: Wake up, swim at 5 a.m., go to school, attend advanced placement biology and calculus classes, head back to the pool with the swim team, go home to study, sleep. Repeat.

Weekends: Get to Harvard University by 6 a.m. and train in the university's pool.

It’s a crazy, ambitious, chlorine scented schedule that Kyle has followed for four years. But it has paid off.

Wednesday, at a ceremony in the high school’s media center, Kyle signed a National Letter of Intent to attend the University of Maryland at Baltimore County on a four-year athletic scholarship.

“He is a great kid who has worked very hard,” said Karrah Ellis, Grafton High School’s director of athletics.  “This is a huge accomplishment and Grafton High School is very proud of Kyle.”

The 17-year-old Kyle, son of Karen Durand and Kevin Durand, has a long list of accomplishments.

He swims for the Northbridge-Grafton High Co-Op swim team. His mother says he really enjoys the freestyle distance, a one-mile swim he finishes in under 16 minutes.

On the weekend, he swims with the Crimson Aquatics, a handpicked team of swimmers sponsored by Harvard University. His team is ranked 20th in the country. This opportunity allowed him to compete in the Grand Prix, a swim meet that included Ryan Lochte, the Olympic gold medalist, before Lochte became Lochte. 

At school, Kyle is an honor roll student who somehow manages to get his advanced placement homework done. Even his mother, who owns an accounting business, can’t keep up with the high-level math.

“The way these high school classes go,” she said, “I haven’t been able to help him in years.”

“We’re very happy for him,” said Grafton High School Principal James Pignataro. “He’s a positive kid who has also shined academically.”

When Kyle attends the University of Maryland at Baltimore County next fall, he plans on majoring in mechanical engineering.

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