Student-Athlete Spotlight

Cherry Creek senior keeps his cool in the pool

Brendan Eckerman heading to his fourth state swim meet

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Cherry Creek senior Brendan Eckerman is looking forward to the Class 5A state swimming championship, which will be held in May.

It will be the fourth state meet he has competed in, and he knows how to prepare and what to expect.

“Even college swimmers and really, really high-level swimmers say the most nervous they have even been for a swim meet is for high school state,” said Eckerman, who tied for second in the 100 freestyle and was fourth in the 200 IM at last season's state championships.

“So the biggest part, not just for me, but for every team across the state is going into state confident, staying confident and managing the stress that goes with it.”

Eckerman, committed to swim at Wisconsin, is solid in four events but is specializing in freestyle races this season and has some of the top times in the state.

“I want to win the 50 freestyle this year,” he said. “I know I am going to be in that. So far the team is ranked No. 1 and would love to bring home a state championship for the team.”

Key stats:

In the April 17 rankings, Eckerman had the fastest time in the 50-yard freestyle of 21.01, second in the 100 freestyle in 46.77 and second in the 200 freestyle in 1:45.27.

Coach's take:

`From where he started as a freshman, attitude-wise, we didn't want him on the roster. To see him as a senior, it's a great feeling. We needed him to be a leader.'

Chris Loftis,

Cherry Creek boys swimming coach

Q&A with Eckerman

What do you eat for pre-swim nourishment?

It depends on the swim meet. When we have meets after school, I just go home, take a nap and then eat a couple granola bars. If it is a big meet, usually the Wednesday before State we go out to Maggiano's and have a big steak dinner and load up with pasta. The biggest thing for me is to drink a lot of water at a meet.

What or who motivates you most to excel in swimming?

Seeing how hard this team has worked this year drives not only me but the rest of my teammates

What would be a perfect performance in your sport?

A big thing in swimming is best times. So my work is paying off and getting best times and doing all that I can to help the team.

What do you like to do away from sports and school?

Swimming has taken over my life the past couple years. I try to get outdoors as much as I possibly can. I had a ski pass this year. In the summer, I want to do a lot of hiking.

What are your habits before a race?

I always get up on the block and when I'm ready for a race I clap three times.

What is the toughest race for you to swim?

When it comes to high school, I passionately hate the 200 IM. I'm good at it so I keep swimming it.

What is the hardest thing about being a high school swimmer?

The discipline. It's the determination and it will test you every different way that it can. You have to get up so brutally early every morning and not get home until 7 o'clock at night.

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