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20 Questions: Brady Fox

By Ishita Singh
Local star Brady Fox will swim at the University of Virginia in the fall. (John McDonnell, The Washington Post)

Local star Brady Fox will swim at the University of Virginia in the fall. (John McDonnell, The Washington Post)

Local standout Brady Fox, 18, swims for Rockville Montgomery Swim Club, Hallowell Swim Team in the Montgomery County Swim League, and the Argyle Country Club in the Country Club Swimming and Diving Association. The recent Georgetown Prep graduate has U.S. Olympic Trials qualifying times of 56.67 in the 100-meter backstroke and 2:01.79 in the 200-meter back and swam for the U.S. Junior Nationals team in 2008. He will swim for the University of Virginia in the fall.

1. How’d you get your start in swimming? I was at a Popsicle meet at my local community pool, where you swim and they give you a Popsicle afterwards, and my summer league team coach Marsha saw me and said I’d be a good swimmer and wanted to see if I was interested in joining Hallowell.

2. How much time do you spend in the pool? Training, I probably spend 2-3 hours a day, and then I coach everyday for an hour for Argyle Country Club. I’m a member of their swim team too, so I have meets on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons for Argyle, and then my meets for Hallowell on Saturday.

3. What are you most looking forward to at this week’s PVS meet? I think this being my last meet as a high-schooler, it’s the last part in this chapter you could say. I’m excited to move on.

4. What is the biggest difference between summer swimming for Hallowell and swimming at RMSC? Summer swimming is more friendly, more team-oriented. Winter swimming is more individual. I base my accomplishments in the winter off how I do. If the team wins it’s a big deal, but not as much as in the summer.

5. Which do you prefer? They’re both very different. Summer swimming is a lot of fun, both my teams I enjoy. That’s where a lot of my friends have come from, and really, all you have to worry about is the team. Winter swimming is more about me. I get to travel to Australia, California, I’ve been to a lot of states and it is all because of winter swimming. If I preferred one, I guess winter swimming, because of all the experiences I’ve had and how fun it is to race with the best in the world.

6. How was swimming at Junior Nationals? It’s a lot of fun, just seeing everyone throughout the nation coming together, some of the fastest people in the nation. It lets you broaden your horizons, get out there and race, and meet new people; that’s my favorite part. Plus, after you win, it’s just nice knowing “oh, wow, I’m a Junior National champion.” It’s a good feeling.

7. What is the best advice a coach has ever given you? There was one meet when I was 14 where I did something to my ribs, and I was in a lot of pain so I didn’t want to swim. I can’t remember what my coach said to me, but I ended up swimming through it. I always remember that, sticking through it and putting your mind to it, even though it’s a cliché.

8. What sport would you play if you didn’t swim? Golf. It’s a lot of fun – I just started playing. I wish I were good at it.

9. What are you looking forward to most about college? That it’s something new. I’m starting over, and this past year I saw a lot of friends drop a lot of time when they went off to school, so I’m looking for a change. I’m hoping that college really picks up my motivation towards swimming. My goal this year is making the NCAAs and winning the ACCs.

10. How did you decide on U. Va.? I took recruiting trips to Texas, Georgia, Southern Cal and Virginia, and then after I let all the excitement from them die down, I just realized U. Va. was the place for me. I really felt like I fit in, that training for something, not just like the Olympics but training for something in sight. I’ve gone to swim camp there since I was nine, so I got to know the coach Mark Bernadino well, and the academics are always a plus.

11. What will you be majoring in at school? I’m going into the general College of Arts and Sciences for the first two years, but I’m trying to get into their Business or Commerce school. My goal to major in finance, but I have to work very hard the first two years to get there.

12. What is your favorite stroke? As hard as it is, it’s probably butterfly to race. But definitely not to train.

13. What music gets you pumped before meets? I like to chill out, listen to reggae or Jack Johnson. It gets me settled down so I can focus on racing.

14. Any pre-meet rituals? I try to get carbs in: eat my bagel, eat pasta. I like to get to meets early, talk to people, focus on my races, warm up relatively early and then warm up again before my race.

15. What is the coolest thing you’ve experienced because of swimming? Either going to Australia with Junior National team in January 2008 or the Olympic Trials this past summer, and seeing all the fast swimming and seeing 14,000 people at a swim meet. That never happens.

16. When you’re not in the pool, what are you doing? I have an internship, but I like playing X-box, chilling with friends, watching movies.

17. What are your goals outside of swimming? Definitely to get into the Virginia business school. Someday I’d like to own my own business. It definitely will not be swimming-related; swimming will be done probably after college.

18. What is the worst part of swimming? All the practicing, how it takes away from your social life. You have to wake up so early, it takes up so much of your time.

19. The best part? Traveling and all the opportunities I’ve gotten, to be able to go a university that I wouldn’t be able to go to without swimming.

20. If you could challenge anyone to a race, who would it be? Jack Johnson. I’m a big fan of his. And then he can challenge me to a surfing contest.

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