Summit's Brewer takes the pool by Storm
The Summit boys swim team has become a dynasty lately, winning five of the last six Class 5A state titles.
And the past two years, sophomore Tommy Brewer has been a key cog in helping the Storm stay at the top.
"I don't really like not doing very well; it's one of my pet peeves of the sport, so when I don't do well, I get kinda angry with myself," Brewer said this week.
The fact of the matter is, it's not very often when Brewer doesn't do very well.
In only two years swimming at Summit, he's already won four individual gold medals at state and has set four state records.
But one of his proudest accomplishments came last year, when he qualified for the U.S. Olympic Swimming Trials in the 200-meter breaststroke.
"Like a deer in headlights. It was eye-opening, that's for sure," Brewer said.
Tommy is the first to admit the nerves got the best of him that day.
He finished in 117th place, but knows that experience will pay off in the long run.
"What it really means to compete at that high level of swimming, and how you might be the top dog for your age group, but the moment you get to that next level, you're going to get eaten alive," Brewer said.
At those Olympic Trials in Omaha, he got the chance to swim with the sport's biggest stars: Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte.
"It was pretty cool, I'm not gonna lie. Those are guys you've looked up to since you started swimming, and just kind of being in the same pool, doing the same thing they're doing, it makes them seem more normal than they actually are on camera," Brewer said.
For many swimmers, the biggest sacrifice they have to make is the morning swim: getting up at 4:30 a.m. to hit the pool.
"You know, sometimes he gets a little cranky at 5 in the morning, but we all do," said his sister, Madi Brewer.
"Before this past year, I haven't really done a whole lot of mornings, so I've really upped up my practices," Tommy Brewer said. "Getting up has been the challenge, in trying to balance that with school."
One thing that hasn't been a challenge for Tommy is his work ethic.
The people that see him swim the most, his coach and mom Ann, and his sister and fellow swimmer Madi, say that's his best attribute.
"You can tell when he's in the pool, he's in there to train," Madi Brewer said. "He doesn't let anything silly get in his way. He just goes for it, and that's what it takes. Whether he's the only one in the pool or the only one on his cycle, he's going to go as fast and as hard as he can all the time."
Next up for Tommy, in terms of goals in the pool, is making the semis or finals of the Olympic Trials -- and hopefully making the Olympic team.
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