Senior Spotlight: Taylor Brugh

March 18, 2008

After four years of swimming at the college level, Washington senior Taylor Brugh is ready for the next chapter in his life. Not that he was ready for his career to end, but the backstroke specialist from Missoula, Montana knows that he is ready for the next chapter in his life.

'I can't wait to move on with my life,' said Brugh, who will graduate with a degree in geophysics in June. 'There is so much I want to do now that I have time. I love swimming, but throughout my life I have missed out on so many opportunities because of meets, practices, etc.'

Brugh has been a competitive swimmer all of his life, but the endless days of practice and going to competitions are over in his eyes. When he came to the UW in the fall of 2004 out of Hellgate High School he wasn't even sure he would make it all four years as a swimmer in college.

'I have so many things that I like to do outside of swimming and I wasn't sure if I'd make it all four years,' said Brugh. 'College swimming really took over everything. I learned a lot through the sport though.

'I believe the best thing about swimming is that at the end of the day the best swimmer is the one who learns the most about them self from the sport. No one is getting rich swimming, so it's all about what you can take from the experience.'

Coming out of high school Brugh wasn't sure that swimming in college was for him. In his words he wanted to stay home and attend Montana State and 'be a ski bum.' But his parents weren't to 'encouraging of that' idea. And so Brugh settled on the UW after being impressed by Seattle and what he saw of the Husky swim team.

The move turned out to be a good one for both Brugh and the Huskies, as he placed in the top five in 14 different events during his freshman season. During his sophomore season he placed 10th in the 200 backstroke at the Pac-10 Championships in what was then the fourth-fastest time in school history.

In his junior year at the Pac-10 Championships, Brugh swam to a 15th-place finish in the 200 backstroke and then repeated that feat this season in what was the fourth-fastest time in Husky history. He also took 12th in the 100 backstroke this year in the third-fastest time in UW history.

Brugh says he will leave with many great memories, especially the Huskies win over No. 20 USC this season as well as his intense training sessions during his freshman season with then-teammate Diogo Bezerra. He also was impressed this season by the contribution from the freshman swimmers at the Pac-10 Championships.

'I was really impressed with the freshman. Ben (Aaberg), Russ (Mahan) and Andre (Blyth) are going to be great swimmers in the near future. I wish that some of the seniors could have had a better meet to finish their Husky careers, but it doesn't always work out how you want.'

While he came to Washington with uncertain plans about his future, he leaves knowing what he will do now that he has more time on his hands.

'I'm planning to spend a lot of time climbing, snowboarding and fly-fishing.'

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