GHS swimmer Brawner joins elite company


It didn’t take Kaylee Brawner long to make a splash with the Granbury High swim team.

In only her freshman season, she has joined some pretty elite company.

Brawner will be competing at the Class 4A State Swimming and Diving Meet at the University of Texas in Austin Friday and Saturday. She is the first GHS swimmer to reach that plateau since 2010, and the first girl to do so since 2008.

Brawner has been swimming competitively since age 5 with the Granbury SEALS. It’s also been a great way to spend her summers, she said.

“I just love hanging out with my friends and having a good time at the pool,” she said.

“It’s a really a fun sport. Of course, winning’s fun also.”

She should know. Brawner qualified for state by winning the 50-yard freestyle in the recent 4A Region II Meet in Mansfield. She posted a season-best time of 24.67 seconds, shattering her previous mark of 25.18.

“She’s a great kid, both in and out of the pool, and works hard every practice,” said GHS swim coach Nick Vollmer, himself a three-time state qualifier while swimming for the Pirates from 2000-04.

“She’s spent a lot of time working with Janet Steenberge (SEALS coach) and the SEALS over the years, and she came into my program able to swim in our fast lane.”

Brawner recently worked out with the most famous swimmer in Granbury history, four-time Olympic gold medal winner Dana Vollmer, who had some nice things to say about her pupil and her own history in Granbury.

“Kaylee is an amazing young lady who has an enormous amount of raw talent, and a feel for the water that you don’t come across every day,” said Dana Vollmer. “Janet and Nick have done such a great job bringing her up, and it’s a lot of fun to be able to give her some tips to help her be even more successful.”

Brawner is also the first state qualifier since Vollmer became GHS coach in 2010.

“Some of my best high school memories come from staying in Austin with my relay team, hanging out in the hotel, and psyching one another up for our swims,” said the coach.

“Having Kaylee go is motivating for my whole team, and I hope she has an experience as great as those I had.”

And, ever humble, if she brings home another medal, she won’t be flashing it around. She lets her performances do her talking.

In fact, she can’t even say exactly where her regional championship medal is.

“It’s laying around my room somewhere,” she said with a chuckle. “I don’t do much with my medals.

“But I do like winning them.”

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