The 6-foot-3-inch, 180-pound Brooks Fail stood on the edge of the platform on Thursday afternoon at Udall Park. Fail, a Catalina Foothills junior, splashed pool water on his body as he waited his turn for the boys 400-yard medley relay in a tri-meet.
The splashing is standard routine for one of Southern Arizona’s top swimmers — just like winning.
Fail won two individual titles last season — in the 200 and 500 free events — and had a hand in helping Foothills win the 400 free relay as the Falcons won the Division II state crown for the second year in a row.
Fail’s pre-race routine is one of his keys to success.
“I’ve been doing it for a really long time so it’s just kind of like a ritual I do,” Fail said. “But, more of that I think that I have a phobia of cold pools so I like to get use to what I’m about to dive into.”
The Star recently caught up with Fail as he dives into a new season, with Foothills now competing in the state’s highest classification:
Facing the best of the best
Foothills, now a Division I program, has a lot more work have to do after being so dominant in Division II over the last two seasons. The Falcons will now have to line up against a Phoenix Brophy Prep squad that has won a state crown every season since 1988.
“I think we changed the mindset and started working a lot harder this year because we know that it’s going to take a lot to do well in Division I,” Fail said. “We have been working longer distances and building up our endurance.”
Fail also believes that now that the Falcons are a competing against the best of the best, it will be a good thing for he and his teammates because of the better competition, which will help them work harder towards a bigger goal.
Enjoying time in the pool
Fail says he learned to swim when he was about 3 years old and has been doing it competitively for the last 10 years.
“It’s competitive and it’s just fun to race other people,” Fail said. “You meet a lot of new people, that’s probably my favorite part about it.”
Fail plans to continue swimming next year, as a senior hopes to one day be able to swim for a college program.
“I just want to keep swimming until I stop enjoying it, and right now I’m enjoying it a lot,” Fail said.
The potential or even possibility to swim in the Olympics sounds unreal to Fail but he says that it’s something that is always in the back of his head.
Fun out of the water
Fail describes himself as your typical high schooler, whose favorite subject in school is history.
The brown-haired, brown-eyed swimmer says he doesn’t really do much other than swim. In addition to starring for the Falcons, Fail also competes with a club team, which means that he practices almost every day.
When Fail isn’t underwater, he enjoys playing recreational sports like soccer and enjoys staying home to play video games.
Martin Hocheder, one of his teammates, describes Fail as, “A very ambitious person, who always sets goals for himself and doesn’t stop until he achieves them.”
“He always tries to stay positive and look at the bright side of things,” Hocheder said. “I never see him upset or sad. ”