Will Brand may not have accomplished his top goals in his final season at Glendale, but he can’t complain with where he ended up at state.
Brand entered competitive swimming at the age of eight with Springfield Aquatics. From there, he has spent countless hours in the pool and in the gym to become the best.
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“When we have morning practices at Glendale, I lift weights during school, and I then hit the gym again after school with my friends,” said Brand. “With club swim practices during the week and on Saturday mornings, and that’s basically my life.”
Brand fell just shy of a top three finish in the 100 butterfly his junior year. In fact, he finished fourth behind three seniors, leaving him as the favorite for the 2013 state meet.
In his senior year, Brand took the gold in the 100 butterfly in 50.77 seconds, his personal best time and the new Glendale record.
“My goal this year was to swim the fly in under 50 seconds,” said Brand. “Even though I didn’t hit that time, I’m incredibly happy to finish first.”
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The 200 freestyle championship heat is one for the record books, as two swimmers finished in first. Brand tied with Parkway Central senior Zach Rogers in a time of 1:41.07.
Brand held the second place position for majority of the race, trailing Rogers for the first 150 yards. He swam the final 50 yards in 25.30 seconds, which made up for all his lost time from the first three legs.
“It wasn’t that great of a race for me; I didn’t swim that smart,” said Brand. “I could have easily had him, but instead, I went out really slow, so I had to play catch up.”
Another of Brand’s goals this season was to drop his 200 free time to 1:40.00. Although he didn’t reach either of his time goals, Brand is focusing on his accomplishments overall.
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“It was incredible to be at the top of the podium for two events this year,” said Brand. “You just get so caught up in the moment, and the feeling of accomplishment, the feeling that all those long practices has paid off is just so unreal.”
Fortunately for Brand, he will have four more years of goals to set and accomplish. He will join the Missouri State swim team in the fall and plans to focus mostly on his favorite event: the 100 butterfly.
“I couldn’t be more excited to have the opportunity to continue swimming at MSU,” said Brand. “My time goals will stay the same for next year, and I know I’ll reach them then.”