Who We Are: Brooks Fail
Senior standout swimmer Brooks Fail has embodied the Wildcat Way in his years at the University of Arizona while becoming one of the most decorated swimmers to ever represent the Block A. Being a Tucson native, Brooks reps his school with pride while enjoying every last moment he can as a Wildcat.
"Being a Wildcat is much bigger than what goes on in the water," Fail said. "Growing up in Tucson you always want to give back to the city in whatever way you can, whether it be in the community or leading by example and being a good role model for up-and-coming generations of swimmers. It was something I strived for, to be and do something great while being a Wildcat."
During his senior year in 2020, Fail was unable to experience a normal swimming season due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Even though it was a shortened season, Brooks still managed to set a school record in the 1650-meter freestyle event, become a three-time All-American, and help Arizona's men's team to its highest ranking during his career.
"We have achieved a lot of great things as a team but I think for myself — to even have the chance to compete last year and having a difficult time with pauses in training and uncertainty of competing — I feel like throwing out all that and being able to compete in NCAA championships and being fortunate enough to be an All-American three times in my individual races was a blessing. On top of that, we finished 12th nationally as a team, the highest finish for us as a program since I have been here," Fail said. "It spoke a lot about the season and how we weren't going to let anything get in our way. We all wanted to have the best mindset going into our final goal, where we eventually achieved some great things."
The swimming and diving season can be incredibly demanding with year-round obligations, but Brooks makes sure it is something he doesn't take for granted, as he looks to accomplish the most out of his final year of eligibility.
"I feel like most of the success that you get has a lot to do with the people you are surrounded by, and I have been very fortunate to be surrounded by great coaches, great professors, and great teammates that have laid down the foundation for me to be the most successful version of myself," Fail said. "It's tough being a swimmer at times in a sport that never stops. I enjoy it every single day, and I walk in with the mindset of enjoying the moment because these moments don't last forever. I won't be able to represent my hometown university forever. With this kind of being my last ride, every set or drill I don't like doing I still take the time out of it and to enjoy every piece of it, even if sometimes it can be kind of challenging. Really I'm just focused on soaking in every moment in my last year here."
The Wildcat journey for Fail has been a storybook script, beginning with a kid from Tucson and attending Catalina Foothills High School. His journey embodies the "Arizona Advantage", which is a key pillar of Arizona's "Wildcat Way" strategic plan focuses on promoting Southern Arizona as a premier destination for student-athletes, from near and far.
Brooks now reflects back on his memorable times here on campus and looks to finish with a storybook ending of his own.
"Coming back for one more year ultimately gave me the chance to have fun with my friends and cherish these experiences that will last me a lifetime."