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Michael Brus qualifies for Olympic Trials

Michael Brus ’14 had a great performance at the NCAA Division III National Swimming and Diving Championship at the Indiana University Natatorium in Indianapolis, IN from March 21-24. He followed this up by qualifying for the United States Olympic trials on March 25 in the 200m backstroke at the same location.

Michael Brus ‘14 swimming his way to victory and an NCAA A-Cut in the 200 yard backstroke at the Midwest Confer- ence Meet this February. Brus will be heading to the US Olympic Trials at the end of June in Omaha, Nebraska. Contributed.

“I’m really happy with how I did,” Brus said. “It wasn’t ideal training situations leading up to it, but I’m really happy with how I did.”

Despite the training obstacle presented by the shutdown of the Russell K. Osgood pool for repairs, Brus managed to post personal bests in all three of his events at Nationals. Brus placed third and received All-American honors in the 200 yard backstroke with a time of 1:46.23. Brus also received All-American status in the 100 yard backstroke with an eighth place finish and All-American honorable mention in the 200m freestyle with a 10th place finish.

“We knew he was going to swim fast,” said Head Swim Coach Erin Hurley. “That was the intention, but it was kind of an adverse situation [with the pool being closed]. Then it was fantastic at nationals the day after when he qualified for the Olympic trails. That was a big surprise.”

Brus qualified for the U.S. Olympic trials in the 200m backstroke with a time of 2:04.70. The official cutoff time was 2:04.99. The Olympic trials will be held in Omaha, Nebraska from June 25 to July 2. Brus is scheduled to swim on Friday, June 29.

“[Brus qualifying] is great publicity for the team, because Michael is such a team person,” said Coach Hurley. “Even though he is the only person to qualify for the able body Olympic trials in Omaha, he is really invested in our team, so it is representative of our team, as opposed to him being this outlier who does stuff on his own.”

“The team as a whole is very proud of him.  We have a wide range of abilities on our team and are equally happy for each individual’s success, including Michael. It is also exciting to show our GC pride on a national level and have the whole country see how talented, kind, and sportsmanlike Michael is,” said diver Kelly Bruce ’12, who along with several other team members traveled to Indianapolis to support Brus.

Although excited to be participating in the trials, Brus is not expecting to advance to the Olympic games.

“I’m just being realistic and I know I’m not going to qualify for the Olympics,” Brus said. “I just want to treat it as another meet and enjoy the time there and swim fast.”

“[The Olympic trials] are the fastest swimming meet in the world because U.S. swimmers are very deep compared to other countries,” Coach Hurley said. “We’re not thinking he is going to qualify, just going to participate and have that once-in-a-lifetime experience.”

Until that time, Michael will continue his training in the newly repaired pool.

“I took a week break, but now I am back in the pool and just getting back in shape and starting all over,” Brus said.

“[His] work ethic is incredible, obviously, as he excelled at a national level and will continue to train until the Olympic trials,” Bruce said. “I have faith that he’ll be able to persevere and maintain his focus through June.”

Michael will be joined in training by Claire Forrest ’13 and Claire Williams ’13 who both qualified for the Paralympic Trials. Forrest qualified in the 100m backstroke and 400m freestyle, and Williams qualified in the 100m butterfly and 400m freestyle. The Paralympic Trials will be held in Bismarck, ND from June 14-16

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    Dea MurrayJun 28, 2012 at 8:17 pm

    I don’t think that you will have any idea who I am. I am the mother of 3 kids that went to JFK with you and your brother. I have had the opportunity to watch you swim at Grinnell and at Loras as my youngest daughter was a swimmer at Loras ( MacKenzie Murray). I also am related to your teammate Jennifer Peak. ( Her mom is my cousin.) I am just thrilled for you at this opportunity-what a honor!!! We will be watching and hoping that you get your best time. I am all about beating self rather then worrying about the others! Good luck, please tell your parents I wrote and say hi to them and I can only imagine the pride they are feeling!!! Congrats on qualifying for the Olympic trials!!!