Dorian VanCoppenolle, Sports Writer

A mother pushing her child to try out for a sport turned into a passion for the pool. Since the birth of his passion, communications junior Reese Branzell’s goal has been to compete in the Olympic Swimming Trials at 16 years old. This December, Branzell will try once again to make the trials.

At 4 years old, his mother began teaching him how to swim. Branzell eventually joined a competitive swim club, spending countless hours in the pool to perfect his skills for the sport and lead to success in competitions. His love for swimming soon turned into the desire to compete, motivating him to swim at a higher level as he got older.

“It’s been my number one passion for the longest time, and I really want to see myself succeed,” Branzell said. “[If I keep working hard] it’ll all pay off eventually.” 

For any athlete, having a positive mindset is a key component to doing well. Branzell disregards any doubts he has and remembers his commitment to swimming in order to keep an elevated mental state. “I get a lot of rest and make sure my diet is right,” Branzell said. “[I’m] always thinking positively.”

In order to remain in peak condition, his mindset and his strength must be at a high level. This involves balancing his eating, sleeping, exercising, studying, and practicing good habits. He works out every Tuesday and Thursday, and he swims two and a half hours per day.

“[He] puts in a lot of hours into the sport, as well as striving toward his goals,” communications junior Jasper Weinberg said. “His commitment really amazes me.”

The amount of time Branzell puts into swim, helped push him to try out for the Olympic trials. In his first attempt last year, he missed the mark by a mere fourth of a second. This time, he is looking for different results. His teammates support him in trying out for the Olympic Trials while also participating on the swim team.

           “I’d imagine he’s [going] to make big waves at [the Olympic Trials],” strings senior Kyle Owens said.

           Taking everything into account, Branzell is going to continue working as hard as he currently is in order to become an Olympic Swimmer.

         “It’s just a little bit of everything: You know, get stronger and make yourself better,” Branzell said.