BRETT SAUNDERS, senior, Conrad swimming
Camp Ak-O-Mak’s Staff Member Athlete of Week: Brett Saunders
THE WEEK: Won the 200-yard freestyle (1:49.49) and 100-yard butterfly (55.00) and was part of the winning 200 medley and 400 free relay teams as Conrad topped St. Andrew’s 92-78 last Tuesday.
THE LIFE: “It’s pretty much my whole lifestyle,” Saunders said. “All of my friends are in swimming. All of my fitness I get from swimming. I wake up for swimming, go to sleep early for swimming.”
THE LEADERSHIP: “Brett brings a lot of things to the table besides his physical abilities in the water,” Conrad coach Michelle Northshield said. “He’s just a natural-born leader. He helps everybody, he cheers for everybody. He’s interested in everybody doing the best they can.”
THE STRENGTH: Saunders says his best stroke is the breaststroke. But his best event is the 200 individual medley, which combines all of the strokes. “You don’t have to focus on one thing,” he said. “I like doing a lot of stuff. I like variety.”
THE PARENTS: Brett’s mother, Jocelyn Muir-Saunders, was a world champion marathon swimmer and triathlete in Canada and the first person to swim 521 nautical miles around Lake Ontario, completing the distance in 60 days in 1987. His father, Blair Saunders, was a member of the 1992 Canadian Olympic team in cycling and still competes at a high level in distance cycling and triathlons.
THE UPSET: Saunders won the 100 freestyle and 100 breastroke and helped two winning relay teams as Conrad shocked 10-time defending DIAA champion Salesianum 90-80 on Dec. 8. “That was a great moment,” he said. “Coming into the school four years ago, I would have never expected anything, that we would even go against Sallies. So to be able to beat them is just amazing.”
THE GOAL: Saunders finished second in the 200 individual medley (1:52.83) and 100 breastroke (58.58) at last year’s DIAA state meet. “My main goal is to do best times,” he said. “That’s the one thing I can control. I can’t control what place I get. Of course I want to do as well as I can, but I mainly want to do my best times.”
THE TITLE: Saunders stopped playing tennis as a freshman, but resumed last spring as a junior and won the DIAA state title at third singles. “That was crazy. I still can’t believe it when I look back on it,” he said. “… I decided to come back to it, and I just played it for fun while I still swam every day. I came into the state tournament unranked, just wanting to have fun, and then I just won every match.”
THE CLASSROOM: Saunders said his favorite subject is psychology.
THE FUTURE: Saunders has already committed to swim at the University of Tampa next fall. He may also play tennis and compete in triathlons on the side.
Contact Brad Myers at email@example.com. Follow on Twitter: @BradMyersTNJ