Re-Record breaker Robbins


Tyler McClusky

Junior Brandon Robbins set a record in the 200-breast with a time of 2:03.49 at the Summit League Championships.

Tyler McCluskey, Assistant Sports Editor

In just his sophomore season, junior Brandon Robbins broke the 100- and 200-breaststroke record. One year later, he found himself re-breaking the 200-breaststroke record.

Robbins credits the preparation for the record dating back to the start of the season with going to practices and getting what needs to be done. Robbins said that he “turns his brain off” right as he is about to get onto the block to start the race.

“If I start to think, I have a tendency to overthink my races,” Robbins said. “Sometimes I’ll go out too fast, mess my stroke count up. The more blank I can be the better race I’ll usually have.”

Along with stroke timing, staying calm and collected was a key factor in Robbins setting the record. In Robbins’ preliminary round, he said he started out a little too fast and died a little bit in the last 50, but coming back later that night for the final round, Robbins ended the event with a time of 2:03.49 and ended in ninth overall at the Summit League Championships.

“My strategy coming back that was just to trust my training, go out easy,” Robbins said. “Just really feel my stroke and hit that third 50 and hopefully have more to run it back the last 50. Thankfully I did.”

Coach Jacqueline Michalski said that Robbins has grown since he came to Eastern even with breaking two records in his sophomore season.

“He kind of came in wide-eyed, little freshman and just like ‘Oh!’, just everything was great. Kind of a little not sure what was going on. He’s still like that at times,” Michalski said. “But he’s really grown into a leader of this team.”

Teammate junior Matt Jacobs took away Robbins’ 100-breaststroke record mid-way through the season at the House of Champions meet and lowered it again at the conference championship and Michalski said she saw a little more drive from Robbins. Michalski said the two train differently and are two opposites but she does not push their “rivalry” against each other. But every now and then, they will have a “Matt and Brandon showdown.”

“They train differently. They’re not in the same practice or in the same side of the pool,” Michalski said. “I give both of them a lot of credit because in that scenario, very easily it could have been a not great season. It could have been a lot of anger, but it was just the two of them pushing each other to get better every time and they rise to the occasion.”

Robbins is pretty welcoming to Jacobs to a little friendly competition.

“We’ve been pushing each other all season,” Robbins said. “It drives me, and I think it drives him to be a better swimmer.”

Early in the season, Michalski knew that Robbins wanted to re-break his record.

“He fell a little short of some of the times he wanted at conference,” Michalski said. “He swam well, but I think I could’ve as a coach prepared him a little more.”

Robbins and Michalski sat down and talked on how they could make some changes to Robbins’ practices and see how the offseason goes and reevaluate what they want out of his senior year. Michalski said he has been successful and anticipates nothing but success.

Michalski said that Robbins is a funny person and does the right things that are asked of him and always wants to go above and beyond.

Tyler McCluskey can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected]