Athlete of the week: Brandon Powell makes a splash with high school debut

Brandon Powell competes at a meet.   Photo courtesy of Lori Powell
Brandon Powell competes at a meet.   Photo courtesy of Lori Powell

By Joe Naiman

After Garrett Glaudini made Ramona High School’s varsity boys swim team as a freshman two years ago, he set a school record in the 500-yard freestyle during his first high school meet. Glaudini, now a junior, currently holds three individual school records that are now in jeopardy of being broken by current freshman Brandon Powell.

Powell was victorious in his first two individual races and his first two relay events during his high school debut on March 7 at Santana High School.   He won the 200-yard freestyle in 1:56.42, and the 100-yard butterfly in 56.58 seconds and joined Glaudini on the winning 200-yard medley relay and 400-yard freestyle relay teams.

“I think he made a great first showing. He brought a lot of enthusiasm to the races,” coach Jolyn Yanez said of Powell. “I’ve been really impressed with the work ethic Brandon brings to the team.”

Powell is a year-round swimmer who participates in the Poway-based Pacific Swim program. That gave him technique and experience entering his first high school meet, although it didn’t translate into experience with the team concept.

“When you’re coming out as a freshman, you don’t exactly know what to expect,” Yanez said.

On one hand, Powell had competitive experience. “I think there’s kind of a fire that’s in your belly,” Yanez said.

On the other hand, club swimming focuses primarily on individual achievements while high school swimming involves team scores.

“Every single place matters,” Yanez said.

Although Yanez likely will place Powell and Glaudini in different races during actual competition, having the two fare off against each other in practice increases the competitiveness of those sessions.

“He (Powell) and Garrett kind of go back and forth,” Yanez said.

   
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