SYRACUSE – There are times when you don’t even notice he is there. Then he drops a school record and you double take as he ventures back to his team again, as if it never happened.
Wawasee junior boys swimmer Logan Brugh is rather unassuming. He doesn’t say much as several of his teammates over the years have been the vocal and spiritual leaders of a team that has experienced many peaks and valleys. To say he is business-like would surely cover his approach, happy to do his job and let the results speak for themselves. But his actions in the pool speak louder than he demeanor, and he wouldn’t have it any other way.
“Logan by nature is pretty quiet, but it has been great to see him step up already this year,” said Wawasee head coach Julie Robinson. “He’s a leader with the younger kids. He’s done a great job getting the younger swimmers where they need to be. His leadership will be very valuable this year.”
Brugh is the school-record holder in the 500 freestyle (4:48.40) and has become one of the more consistent and improved swimmers entering into his third year with the Warriors. Brugh’s freestyle swims, including his 200 and relay work, have him competing among some of the top swimmers in the state.
Brugh’s run to the school record as a sophomore was a case study in just how double-edged swimming can be.
Wawasee’s camp were jumping up and down, taking two and three looks at the scoreboard as Brugh was motoring through his final 25 yards of the 500, only to be swimming in the wake of Northridge swimmers Spencer Lehman and Seth Cripe at the finals of the Northern Lakes Conference championships. Brugh’s touching of the wall at 4:48.40 was a lifetime best, but also broke a 20-year-old record held by Wawasee swim legend Andy Kryder.
Brugh couldn’t help but show his emotions, and why not? Even if he finished third.
“I really looked at the (school) record and that was the main goal at the meet,” Brugh said. “I knew Spencer Lehman was really good, and Seth Cripe was up there. Spencer was just quick, he’s built for distance swims. I’m not, I’m short and stocky. When I looked up and saw that time, my heart dropped. I had so much joy and emotion, I started to tear up. It was a 20-year-old record and one of my old coach’s records. I called him on the way home.”
Brugh wasn’t able to parlay the NLC swim into a state qualifier a couple weeks later at the sectional, falling back to fifth at 4:52.45 in the finals and well short of the cut line of 4:44.69. Brugh also was off the pace in the 200 free and neither of the team relays were able to push through.
But quiet confidence is brewing, and Brugh is ready to take another shot at setting some personal marks.
“I didn’t hit my taper for the sectional, and it showed,” Brugh said. “I can’t have that happen again this year. I was pretty disappointed with how I swam at the sectional, and I know I can do much better than I did last year.”
Brugh and his Wawasee teammates will open the season Saturday, Nov. 29, hosting Warsaw.