Fast lane: ‘Beating my best time’ is the reward for Troy’s state champion swimmer
Published 3:00 am Saturday, August 6, 2016
Addison Bruner has only been swimming competitively for two years, but she has rapidly become one of the fastest swimmers in the state.
Bruner competed in the 100-meter freestyle event in the state meet recently, taking home first place with a time of 56.30 seconds.
“It was really exciting,” Bruner said. “I was more excited about the time I finished with because it was my personal best in that event. I was just telling myself the whole time that I need to kick harder and faster.”
Bruner eats, sleeps and breathes swimming. Her hard work coupled with swimming year round has helped her become a state-level competitor.
“I have had to work really hard to get where I am,” Bruner said. “I swim year round so that helps keep me in shape. I love swimming. If I could I would stay in the pool all the time.”
Bruner spent the summer swimming for the Troy Tiger Sharks at Troy Recreation Department and helped lead the team to a third place finish in state. When not swimming for the Tigers Sharks, Bruner hits the pool as a member of the Unified Troy swim team under head coach Shane Tatum.
“I like Shane because he pushes me harder than I think I can go,” Bruner said. “He knows my limits, and he knows how hard to push me. Overall, he is just a great coach.”
What drives Bruner is the battle with herself.
“It’s a competition with myself,” Bruner said. “It’s not really about beating other swimmers. It’s about beating my best time. Beating my best time over and over again is the best part.”
Although she took home first place in the 100-meter freestyle, Bruner’s favorite stroke is the breaststroke. She also loves the competitive nature of the relay races.
“It’s a team event, and everyone tries their hardest,” Bruner said. “It’s exciting, and we all get really pumped up about it.”
Bruner already has her sites on the future. Her dream is to swim during high school and sign a scholarship to swim for Auburn University. Ultimately, of course, she’d love to swim on the U.S. Olympic team.
With the Olympics now in full swing, Bruner will be watching the swimming events. “I watch for tips,” Bruner said. “I watch their technique, and I try to correct my mistakes by watching their routines.”
Her mother, Beth Bruner, has cheered her daughter since the beginning.
“We have loved every minute of it,” Beth Bruner said. “It has been great to watch her not only grow in swimming, but it has helped her mature in life in general. She is learning to work not only on herself and bettering her swimming, but she is also using a lot of her time to motivate others.”
Watching her daughter set goals and work to achieve them is encouraging, she said.
“Just seeing her set goals for herself and then seeing her work hard to achieve her goals is one of my favorite parts,” Beth Bruner said. “I like that she is so focused on what she wants to do. It’s really exciting to see her be focused on something. She has given everything she has in order to be successful.”
Bruner already knows the taste of victory, reflecting on her thoughts as she won first place in the state meet.
“I was ecstatic,” Bruner said. “It was amazing and probably the best feeling I have ever had.”