Age-Group Swimmer of the Month: Brandon Anand of Scarlet Aquatics

Brandon Anand

Age-Group Swimmer of the Month: Brandon Anand of Scarlet Aquatics

Brandon Anand, 14, of Scarlet Aquatics: Rutgers Division (N.J.) has made his mark this season as a versatile and highly competitive swimmer. Last August, he became a three-time Eastern Zone age group champion in the 100 meter backstroke (1:00.94), 400 freestyle (4:14.70) and 400 IM (4:42.52). A week earlier at the New Jersey LC Junior Olympics, Anand claimed victory in the 100-200 breaststroke (1:08.57, 2:31.74) and 1500 freestyle (16:51.78). Because of his ability to compete at a high level in nearly every stroke, Anand finished the long course season ranked third in the country in the 13-14 IMX rankings.

“Brandon is very open to feedback on his swimming,” says his coach, Thomas Speedling. “In fact, he typically will stay after practice and want to go over what he did well and what he could have done better. He pays attention to details and is able to implement that into his races.”

Outside of the pool, Anand commits to all of his activities with passion and determination. He is a diligent student with a jam-packed schedule that includes music classes, Kumon and fencing lessons. Anand is very well-liked by both his peers and competitors.

WHAT IS THE BEST THING YOU DO IN SWIMMING?

I think, in the sport of swimming, I do best in putting all my effort in every practice and competition. Swimming gives me a chance to see the results of my efforts. Each day, I get into the water with the mindset that I am going to give my best effort, be it practice or a race, without worrying too much about the outcome. My goal is to beat my best.

WHAT ARE SOME OF THE TOUGHEST WORKOUTS/SETS YOU’VE DONE?

One of the toughest sets I have ever done is 10×1000 in 12 minutes. In this set, all the odd 1000s are my choice, meaning I can swim anything I want or use any equipment I want as long as I can make the interval. I always do freestyle kicks with fins for the odd ones. On the even 1000s, I swim freestyle with no equipment, but as I move from Level 1 to 5, each 1000 has to become faster. This means that each even 1000 has to get faster as I move from Levels 1 thru 5, with 1 being the slowest 1000 and 5 being the fastest 1000. Level 5 1000, being the last, has to be at my racing level.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE THING ABOUT SWIMMING?

My favorite thing about swimming is that I am able to make relationships, be it short-term or long-term bonds, with the people I am competing with in the pool. It allows me to cheer for my competition regardless of who wins in the end.

WHAT ARE YOU MOST LOOKING FORWARD TO THIS YEAR?

Some things that I am looking forward to this year are: keeping my promise to my parents to stay above 90% in school, gaining more height and muscle, dropping time in all my events, and qualifying for certain meets like the winter and summer junior national championships.

WHO IS SOMEONE YOU LOOK UP TO IN SWIMMING…AND WHY?

Someone that I look up to in the swimming world is Michael Phelps. The reason I say this is because he always managed to give 100% to whatever he has done in swimming. Even if he didn’t feel super-great on any particular day, he kept pushing forward. He pursued his own goals even when no one thought it was possible. He never let anyone’s thoughts get in the way of what he wanted to do, and in the end, he became the most decorated and successful swimmer in the world. This is why I look up to him, and I also wish to become better than him one day.

WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITE HOBBIES?

My favorite hobbies outside of the pool are fencing, playing the saxophone and listening to music.

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