By P. Erik Meyer ’14
Brophy swim capped off their “Drive to 25” campaign this year with their 25th consecutive state championship.
“It’s truly a culmination of 30 years of work,” said head swimming coach Mr. Patrick O’Neill. “We started in 1980 with the winning tradition that we’ve had, and we have lost it once in the last 32 years.”
Since 1980, Brophy swim and dive has won 31 state championships, the only year without a championship is 1987.
“We’re standing on the shoulders of a lot of great athletes and a couple of really, really good coaches,” Mr. O’Neill said. “We’re happy to be just a piece of the 25 years.”
The team has featured two Olympians, John Simons ’79 and Gary Hall Jr. ’93.
Mr. Hall could not be reached for an interview.
“It’s a privilege to be involved with such a well-respected program,” Mr. O’Neill said. “The reason we’re successful here at Brophy is because more of our kids work harder than all the other swimmers in the state, that’s just a fact. It’s a privilege to be involved with kids who have such a great work ethic.”
That legacy that began in 1980 has carried over to this year’s team.
“Twenty-five consecutive titles means that Brophy swimming is going to compete wherever it swims,” said Ryan McCoy ’14. “We’re not going to stop competing until we get the W.”
As the season progresses, it is a habit for the team to look ahead to the state meet.
“It’s a little bit harder to get them to focus on the dual meets, especially when there really is not a big challenge in some of them,” Mr. O’Neill said. “What we really focus on is invitational meets. We have 20-30 schools up against us, so month to month we really try to focus on the invitational.”
The athletes however, said they haven’t forgotten what it takes to advance to the title though.
“I don’t really try to look ahead, just try to stay in the moment and see what I can do better and work out, “McCoy said. “I just try to keep focused on my next race and how that’s going to go.”
Mr. O’Neill said the outlook is bright for the continuation of the streak.
“We’re only losing six of the 18 kids who were here this year and there’s a tremendous group of eighth graders interested in applying to Brophy who have strong swimming backgrounds,” Mr. O’Neill said. “We’re looking good for the next couple of years.”