Charlie Mace last swam for Glendale High School 28 years ago. But his record-setting mark in the 100-yard butterfly still stood - until the weekend of November 9, 2012.
That was when junior Will Brand took Mace’s spot in the Falcon record breaks, setting the new mark twice in a 24-hour span at the state championship competition.
“I knew the record and I knew I could (break) it,” Brand said.
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It started in preliminaries on Friday, when Brand swam 51.80 to become the new GHS record-holder. A day later in the finals, Brand topped his Friday mark by .06 seconds, finishing in 51.74 to take fourth overall in the event.
Charlie Mace, whose son Wilson was on two relay teams with Brand at state, was in attendance.
“(Charlie) was there to congratulate me, it was cool,” Brand said. “He was proud to see me break it.”
It highlighted a busy weekend for Brand, who also medaled in the 200-yard freestyle (1:42.73) and was on two relay teams (400-yard freestyle relay, 200-yard medley relay) that made it out of prelims.
“That was really exciting,” Brand said. “But I was also so exhausted when it was over. I did four events in about two hours.”
No matter what meet he’s swimming in, Brand prefers to go about it alone on race days.
“At the smaller meets, the coaches like to see us rile up the younger guys and get them involved,” Brand said. “But if it’s a bigger meet, like conference or state or something, I like to be left alone. I don’t want to be around anyone.”
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Brand returns for his senior season this fall, and could have an even better showing at state. In last fall’s 100-yard butterfly event, the three finishers ahead of Brand were all seniors.
Brand said he wants to swim in college and has received interest from some schools.
First swimming at age five in a summer league, Brand has been in the water ever since. He joined a club team when he was eight years old and stays busy in the offseason swimming for Springfield Aquatics.
Brand said he practices six days a week, sometimes twice a day.
He said the thing he enjoys most about swimming is the relationships.
“Just the people that are involved in it,” Brand said. “I’ve met some really cool people.”
Getting to know Will Brand
Favorite athlete: Peyton Manning
Favorite team: Kansas City Chiefs
Preswim superstition: I don’t really have one. Everyone usually claps when they’re on the block, I just try to stay silent.
Most disliked athlete: Ryan Lochte
Favorite movie: Catch Me If You Can
Favorite musical artist: Jason Aldean
Favorite actor: Tom Hanks
Favorite athletic memory: Spring break, junior nationals. It was this big swim meet in Orlando. I wasn’t happy with how well I swam, but it was still cool to be there.
Song on your iPod most people would not expect: I’ve got a lot of country music on there
Hidden talent: Juggling