Feb. 3, 2011

By Hannah Miller, Miami Athletic Communications


OXFORD, Ohio--In her final season as a RedHawk, senior Megan Brunn (Mansfield) is exceeding expectations one competition at a time.

She has helped lead the RedHawks to victory all season long (9-1 in dual meets), including a perfect 4-0 mark against Mid-American Conference foes. Brunn says that this year has been different from years past because of her new perspective as a leader.

"So far it's been an exciting season because as a senior on the team, it's new and different than previous years," Brunn says. "Being a co-captain means I have more say in what goes on with the team. Just swimming-wise, the team has been really cohesive throughout the season and we have maintained our excitement since October."

Brunn holds the second-best individual times on the team in four events this season: the 100 breaststroke, the senior 200 breaststroke, the 200 individual medley and the 400 IM. She attributes this success to a number of different factors.

"I always set goals for myself at the beginning of each season, and those motivate me throughout all the practices, day in and day out," she says. "My teammates have also really challenged me because there's never a dull practice; you're always vying to beat the person in lane next to you. Just having the right motivations is what has kept me on top of my game."

This season, to prepare for her competitions, Brunn sticks to a routine that has led her to success.

"I stretch and loosen up my muscles, usually adrenaline yawn and look up at my parents in the stands for comfort and support," Brunn says.

In addition to having her parents at each meet, Brunn has a younger brother who is a freshman at Miami this year who has been one of her biggest supporters.

"I love it having him here," Brunn says. "He's at every single meet and I can hang out with him outside of swimming. It has been a lot of fun showing him the ropes, too."

Last season, Brunn earned All-MAC First Team and Academic All-MAC honors after winning 12 individual events on the year, tied for the second-most on the team. Brunn also earned an NCAA Championship consideration in both breaststroke events.

She says that even with her last season's accomplishments, she does not feel any added pressure this season.

"We're going into it with no expectations," Brunn says. "We took second last year, and we hope to improve on that, but by no means is that the standard we're setting for ourselves. We're not looking back on what we did; I think we're just having the mindset of no expectations so we can set ourselves up for even better success."

After graduating this spring with a prestigious degree in marketing, Brunn is unsure which direction her swimming career will go.

"I am about a half-second away from the Olympic trial cut in the [100 breaststroke]," Brunn says. "I'm thinking about after the season ends if I should go for that cut, and what that means for the next year and half prior to the Olympic trials."

Brunn says regardless of the Olympic cut she will at least continue swimming recreationally after college.

"I'll for sure keep swimming because I love it," she says.

When she does leave Miami in the spring, Brunn says there are definitely aspects of Miami swimming that she will miss.

"I like wearing the `M' caps because it signifies a lot to be part of team," Brunn says. "I like the traditions for each meet, too, singing the fight song before each meet starts. I can say without a doubt that I wouldn't be swimming as fast as I am without being on Miami's swim team and having the coaches that I do and the teammates that I train with."

Miami hosts its final home meet of the season this Saturday afternoon at 1 p.m. when the RedHawks face off against arch-rival Ohio. Admission at the Nixon Aquatic Center is free.