SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- Next weekend Glendale senior Will Brand will wrap up his high school swimming career seeking his first individual state title. Brand finished 4th in the 100 butterfly at state last season, but returns as the top seed on November 15th and 16th in St. Peters.
"(winning state) means everything," Brand said. It's something I've been looking forward to for four years and it comes down to one weekend."
Brand, who is also a state qualifier in the 200 free and a pair of relays, broke the school record in the 100 fly last season, a record that stood for 30 years, then broke his own record earlier this season.
He took to swimming at a young age and by high school dropped all other sports to focus on the pool. Brand's freshman year was also the first at Glendale for head coach Steve Boyce.
"That's pretty exciting for me," said Boyce. The first group that came through here when I started four years ago, I have a special relationship with those kids."
Brand has made his college commitment to the Missouri State swimming program where he'll join former teammate Jack Snow. He'll also join his sister Olivia, who is a junior for the MSU volleyball team and his parents who attended then Southwest Missouri State, participating on the track and softball teams respectively.
Boyce credits Brand for his hard work in and out of the pool. Offseason workouts often include two-a-days in the pool for a total of three-and-a-half hours as well as a pair of sessions in the weight room.
"When you're working out at that level you end up looking like he looks," Boyce said. "Right now its's jump off the blocks and push off the wall, but when you explose like he does it's incredible."
Brand's goal for state is a sub-50 second time.
"It's almost a gamble with such a short race," said Brand. "It all has to be perfect. The timing has to be perfect."
Brand was the inagural winner of the Ozarks Sports Zone "1 Awards" for boys swimming last summer, voted by the fans in a 7-week online vote.
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