Daniel “The human jet-ski” Brown is sharp, witty, open and honest. He doesn’t hide from his success and he isn’t shy about his high level ability to move his frame across the top of large swimming pools either.
Here is some of my Q and A with Daniel following the Bulldogs incredible State Championship for swimming on Saturday:
Me: Tell me about Wig (coach Linda Wiginton).
Daniel: She’s the best coach out there, no exaggeration. Throughout my pre-high school life in swimming, I had multiple coaches that usually came out of high school and Wig was their teacher. She knows how to be a tough coach and a good friend. She knows how to make champions. She also knows how to make her athletes into better people. Very few ever have those qualities together and if that isn’t enough to describe how great she is, she also has plaque saying she’s the best in the nation.
Me: Tell me about leaving Ethan Powers lane open at state. That is one of the most profound shows of total respect for his memory and family and supreme confidence in the remaining team members to still get the points for the title.
Daniel: That was our coach’s decision, which we supported fully. Throughout finals at state I had a strange feeling of no longer missing Ethan, which I had been all week. Finally, I came to the conclusion that you miss things you’ve lost or can’t find and I knew exactly where Ethan was. The fact that we still entered Ethan in the meet drove me to that conclusion. While he wasn’t there to swim, I know I swam with him.
Me: Daniel explain why you look like you are kicking and moving your arms like everyone else, but you are faster than everyone in the pool.
Daniel: In swimming, as with most sports, no one enters the water at the same level. If you see a freshman or younger swimmer struggling, it’s because they don’t have the hang of it. If you see the same age swimmer performing exceptionally, they have natural talent.
Here’s the ironic twist that translates heavily to real life: Where you start matters very little in the world of swimming. Everyone has the ability to drastically change their position on the scoreboard with their work ethic. Whoever can endure the most pain in practice will receive the greatest praise in the championship.
There is little hand-eye coordination in swimming. There is no making weight, and there are no gains made to get better, faster or stronger. There are no shortcuts. A swimmer has to know how to work hard if they want to be great. If you ask anyone on my team, I am confident they will say I am one of (if not the) hardest training partners. I steadily increase my pace so that no matter what’s going on, at one point in the workout I am busting my tail in every set. Now consider my whole team. We are the best because we are the hardest workers, we understand the races are won through the miles swam at home.
Me: Lastly, who is the next Daniel Brown at AHS?
Daniel: We are a family and we are the best. We’ve endured through more than I could ever have imagined this team would have. As for the next Daniel brown, I’d like to remain the only Daniel Brown here. We have a freshman who could do great things when he gets older, but I’ll let him be the first Chase Hubbard.
Reach Brad Gilbert@ 482-1221 ext. 2076