Brendan Moran looks up to his older brother Conor – he wants to be like him, but he also wants to beat him.
Brendan, 10, said he got into swimming because of Conor, 14, and the brothers have steadily improved in the pool among their respective age groups this summer. That showed on Thursday at the Four Seasons Sports Complex, host site of the 2017 Central Maryland Swim League's Straehle Invitational Championship Swim Meet.
Conor competed in the 100-meter IM, 50 backstroke and the 50 butterfly. He won the back in 30.46 seconds, breaking a Westminster Stingrays team record in the process. He said he also dropped time with his first-place finish in the fly as well.
"Everybody at Carroll is very, very good and you basically triple that here," Conor said. "It's not just people from Carroll County; it's from the whole entire CMSL division. You basically swim against people who are just like you, if not better, so it's a lot of competition here — probably more than the Carroll Invitational just because of the amount of people, but it's still a lot of fun."
The younger Moran also made his mark at the Straehle, breaking a team record with his fourth place finish in the 50 freestyle (32.16). Brendan finished the 25 back in 18.20, good for first place, and he came in second in the 25 fly (16.36).
Brendan also swam in the 200 freestyle relay with teammates Max Reinhardt, 10, Rylan Bowers, 9, and Maz Flowers, 10 — the boys took sixth place in 2:31.26.
"For me, I was a little bit nervous swimming here because I never really drop time in this pool," Brendan said. "I used a boost from Carroll County winning four events there to push myself harder."
Last week's Carroll County Invitational at South Carroll Swim Club brought success for the brothers — Conor swam to victory in the 100 IM, 100 free, 50 back and 50 fly. Brendan added four wins of his own in the 100 IM, 50 free, 25 back, and 25 fly.
The Morans swim for the Carroll County YMCA Piranhas when winter comes. Conor said he lifts at the gym and swims before and after his workouts to stay loose. Brendan said he doesn't lift — yet — but he swims three to four times a week to "stay in the groove" when he isn't competing.
"I swim every race trying to go fast and I'm trying to be a good influence for him just so he can grow up to be a good person and a good swimmer all around," Conor said. "I also swim well when he's here because I have somebody to push me and he has somebody to push him too."
Carroll had representation with athletes from Carroll Aquatics, Freedom Swim Club, North Carroll, Nottingham, South Carroll, Westminster Riding Club and Westminster Stingrays at the Straehle, a meet that features hundreds of talented youth swimmers from all over Maryland.
The hustle and bustle of the Straehle kept patrons consistently busy between events. Kids did tumbles and flips in midair to pass the time as lines formed at Genova's To Go and Kona Ice for people to get their hunger fix amid the "Tent City" of swim teams.
Freedom's Addison Powers swam in four events in her third Straehle on Thursday — the 100 IM, 50 free, 25 fly and the 200 free relay.
Powers, 9, finished first in the final heat of the 25 fly, but came in second overall in 16.61 seconds. She finished sixth in the 100 IM behind Westminster Riding Club's Casey Zentz in 1:29.28 and fourth in the 50 free (33.78). WRC's Sophie Long finished second in the same race in 32.93.
Powers won the 100 IM at the Carroll County Invitational in 1:25.75.