SportsLife 2016, Issue 2 - Page 26

Seals Rylan Brunette Wins Two Gold at Man Sask Meet By Scott Taylor, Photos courtesy St. James Seals Modest and focused. Ask anyone who knows 15-year-old St. James Seals swimmer Rylan Brunette and they’ll tell you, “He’s modest and focused.” “He is a pretty great kid, insanely humble and beyond focused,” said the person who knows him best, his mom, Michelle. “I have never seen anything like it. I say this not as his mom, I say it as it is a fact. When you actually meet one of those people with a single point of focus they are pretty intense.” Brunette has just completed a tremendous winter season. He made his first Western Canadian Swim Championship, off his swims last summer, and swam to his first National Final at the Westerns here in Winnipeg back in February. He has been a multiple Provincial Champion at both long and short course Man Sask Championships and at the last Man Sask in Saskatoon, just three weeks ago he picked up six medals, including two golds three silvers and a bronze. He was the top 14-15-year old Manitoba male at the Man Sask meet qualifying fully for the Canadian Age Group Championships in Calgary this summer. He was also selected to Prospects West, which is a team of six Manitobans who join others from Western Canada at a unique training camp that takes place during the 2016 Olympic Trials. Swimmers selected will 26 / sportslife work with special coaches during the day and then have a chance to watch the finals of Trials at night. Successful Manitoba swimmers such as Kelsey Wog and Mackenzie Glover were selected to this team in the past and Brunette will get the chance this year to watch them race this time to make the Olympic team. Brunette, who has been swimming with the Seals for four years, was a member of Team Manitoba at the Western Canada Summer Games in Fort McMurray last summer. It was his first selection to the provincial team and in every race, he swam a personal best time. “Rylan’s strength is that he is very coachable,” said Seals head coach Ian Grunewald. “He is very much a student of the sport and takes feedback very easily. He pays attention to what others are doing so see where he can improve on. He watches his competitors to see where they are faster so he knows what he needs to do to beat them next time.” A Grade 10 IB student at Westwood Collegiate, Rylan has a twin sister Caelin, and his goal in the pool is to one-day reach the Olympics. “The Olympics has been my goal ever since I began to see what the sport is about,” he said. “I feel myself in the water and on days when we don’t train, I pretty much drive everyone in my family crazy. For me, it is nose to the grindstone and will be until I meet my Olympic goal.” Brunette started started swimming in January of 2012 after he had completed his bronze cross and couldn’t finish his lifesaving certification until he turned 16. “I talked about it with my parents and we figured this would be something to keep me swimming for the next few years until I could go back to get my lifesaving,