This story originally appeared in the Holiday issue of ESPNHS magazine’s Michigan edition.
The key to winning each and every year is keeping your athletes motivated. And as Saline swimming coach Todd Brunty will tell you, that’s not always easy after you win in dominating fashion like his team did last winter.
“These guys, just like with any athletes, really need a challenge,” Brunty says. “We’re not super confident we’re going to repeat or anything, but we think we’ll be pretty strong.”
Some of the swimmers on this team have already accomplished quite a bit, so the goals must be high. Junior ADAM WHITENER is the reigning champ in both the 100 free and 200 free.
“He’s one of our best big-meet guys,” Brunty says. “He has his own heavy metal band, too. He’s supremely talented in a lot of different areas of his life.”
Junior DAVID BOLAND won titles in the 100 free and 200 IM last winter.
“He’s our student-of-the-game swimmer,” Brunty says. “He really works on his technique and his training outside the pool, and he’s got really high goals in terms of what he wants to do.”
Junior JOSH EHRMAN is one of the team’s hardest workers and is joining Whitener and Boland in their attempts to make it through the Olympic Trials. And swimmers such as senior JAMES FISHER add to the team’s impressive depth. But this team isn’t as focused on the state meet as some others may be; in fact, Brunty says the team will be more focused on national accolades.
“We started looking at state records, all-class records and trying to get into the national title picture,” he says. “We have a few national records we’re going to try to go after. I might swim some guys in some other events, and if another team has us on depth, we might lose the state meet in favor of another goal. With these opportunities, you don’t get them all the time.”
Christopher Parish is an associate editor with ESPNHS magazine. You can reach him on Twitter @CParishESPNHS.