Carroll County Times
Carroll County Sports

Brooks, Duesterhaus wrap up standout seasons for Terror

Swimmers often take a little time off following the conclusion of their season. Not McDaniel freshman Brad Brooks.

On Monday, one day after the Centennial Conference swimming championships, Brooks was right back in the pool swimming laps. But based on his performance over the weekend, he sure doesn't appear to need the practice.

Brooks won gold in all three individual events in which he competed - 500 freestyle, 400 individual medley and 1650 freestyle. He also set three championship meet records, four CC records and six McDaniel records en route to being named both Outstanding Performer of the meet and the Outstanding Rookie.

"I dove into the pool and I knew I was going to swim fast," Brooks said. "And that was a great feeling."

On Friday, Brooks set a program, conference and meet record with a time of 4 minutes, 31.09 seconds in the 500 Free. On Saturday, he broke all three again in the 400 IM with a time of 4:04.87.

And on Sunday, he broke the Terror and conference record in the 1650 freestyle with a time of 15:46.03.

McDaniel coach Jeff Hiestand had high praise for Brooks, and said he expected him to be successful in his first season.

"He's obviously a hard worker, student of the sport," Hiestand said. "Easily one of the most coachable kids I've ever worked with. I can tell him something that he needs to fix and he'll get to work immediately on fixing it."

In addition to setting records, Brooks also made the NCAA Division III "B cut time" in all three individual events, meaning he has a chance to compete at the NCAA meet depending on other swimmers' times.

Brooks said when he was swimming in high school for a club team, he "lost the love" for swimming, but now, he has it back. He credits the team atmosphere at McDaniel.

"Coaches are interested in it, teammates are all interested in it, all want to get better," Brooks said. "But at the same time, it's not an obsession to the point where it's all about swimming. We can go have fun."

While Hiestand said he knew Brooks would be successful from the beginning of the season, Brooks said he surprised himself.

"I didn't expect to swim this fast this year," Brooks said. "I'm glad I have and that's a very good sign for the future. If I can improve this much in one year, then the future's going to be great."

As much as Brooks has already accomplished individually, Hiestand said what makes Brooks great is he's "team-oriented."

Hiestand said before the season, each member of the team stood up and shared a goal. Brooks' was to get a relay team to nationals by his senior year.

"We're all trying to commit to it," Brooks said. "Hopefully by our senior year, we'll have four guys in the pool right now trying to go to nationals."

Although Brooks stood out at the conference championship meet, the Terror finished seventh out of seven teams. The women's team did slightly better, finishing six out of eight teams.

Junior Emma Duesterhaus led the McDaniel women by winning 100 backstroke and setting four school records. One of those was Duesterhaus' time of 58.65 seconds in the 100 backstroke.

"It's exciting to break the records," Duesterhaus said, "but best times are always what we're looking to do."

Hiestand said he has seen improvement from Duesterhaus every year, and she is fueled by her competitive nature.

"This year Emma's a lot more committed to the process of becoming better. She's worked very diligently from the start," Hiestand said. "She hates to lose, plain and simple."

The women have also gotten big contributions from sophomore Allison Cannon and freshman Shannon McClellan. Hiestand said McClellan was the team's leading point scorer at the conference championship meet.

McClellan had not swam competitively for four years and Cannon had not since her senior year while at Manchester Valley.

"I really didn't know what to expect," Cannon said, "but it seemed to come back to me pretty quickly."

Added McClellan: "With the [team] environment, I found it very easy to come just right back to it."

While the team didn't enjoy the success it hoped for this season, Duesterhaus said she thinks next year the team will be much better.

"For the first time, I'm looking forward to the next season," Duesterhaus said. "Not that I didn't look forward before, but in a different way that we can do big things next year as a team. And for myself, there is a bunch to do."