Athletics


Coach Info
Name Phone Email Team Name City State
Club Jeff Rodriguez Edina Gators Edina MN
High School Jeff Mace
free
50yd free 50m free 100yd free 100m free 200yd free 200m free 400m free 500yd free 800m free 1000yd free 1500m free 1650yd free
Best Result 23.95 - 51.54 - 1:53.91 - - 5:08.37 - - - -
back
50yd back 50m back 100yd back 100m back 200yd back 200m back
Best Result - - 58.12 - 2:08.98 -
breast
50yd breast 50m breast 100yd breast 100m breast 200yd breast 200m breast
Best Result - - 1:05.30 - - -
fly
50yd fly 50m fly 100yd fly 100m fly 200yd fly 200m fly
Best Result 26.94 29.58 55.66 1:03.33 2:00.97 2:19.04
IM
200yd IM 200m IM 400yd IM 400m IM
Best Result 2:03.58 2:23.19 4:24.96 5:04.39
Physical Attributes
Years swimming
9

Academics


GPA
SAT Reading
SAT Writing
SAT Math
SAT Score (Composite)
ACT Score (Composite)
High School
Edina High School
School City
Edina
School State
MN
Guidance Counselor
Lisa Burnham
Guidance Counselor Phone
Guidance Counselor Email
Class Size
-
School Size
1703
TOEFL Score
Class Rank
-
School Division
MSHSL AA
Major Category
Health Professions and Related Sciences
Major
Physical Therapy/Therapist
Other Academic Information
Enriched Physics Enriched Spanish IV Enriched Chemistry AP European History AP Government AP Spanish V Spanish Club Environmental Club:'s Project Earth
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Personal


First Name
Brecken
Last Name
Merkel
Address
City
State
Zip
Country
Province
Email
Phone
Athlete's Mother
Athlete's Father
Gender
F
Height
5'5"
Weight
130
Birthdate
NCAA Clearinghouse ID
Personal Highlights
-
Additional Questions:
Why do you want to be recruited to play sports in college?

I hardly remember a time when competitive swimming wasn’t a part of my life and cannot imagine a time when it will not be. Throughout the years, swimming has given and taught me so many things about myself, my life, and those/the world around me. I have learned dedication, time management, organization the value of hard work, how to overcome adversity, how to deal with disappointment, how to be a leader, how to inspire others, how to contribute to a team and how much more meaningful achievements are when earned and shared with others. Swimming fulfills my desire to push myself, improve every day, and be part of something so much bigger than me and my immediate world.

I have always found the pool to be my ‘safe space’. And, while the commitment to a college sport, in addition to a college degree, will be intense, having the consistency of swimming should make the college transition easier. Additionally, I have met some of the best people and many of my my best friends as part of this sport. I think arriving at college already part of a team and community will make the move away from home easier and less intimidating. Finally, having the consistency of a competitive sport and a responsibility to my coaches and teammates will provide structure in what I have heard can be a pretty unstructured time.
More than anything though, I would love to be able to swim in college because I feel I still have a lot to contribute in the pool. I do not believe I have achieved my full competitive swimming potential. I am highly competitive, goal oriented, a focused team player and I believe I have a lot to contribute -- in and out of the pool -- to the team and team culture of whatever college program I might be fortunate enough to join.

Athletes are often leaders on and off the field. Please provide one example of how you have demonstrated leadership in both areas.

In the Pool:
When I was 9, my coach gave me an Edina Gators National Team cap and told me that it was a placeholder until I earned a real one for myself. It was a great motivator and I looked up to the older kids as an example of what I should be doing in order to achieve the things they had and to get to their level of competition. When I was 13 and was able to join that team, those same seniors took me under their wing and helped me get through the harder practices, taught me how to balance school and practice commitments, and made me feel safe and courageous when traveling to meets without my parents. Without the example these older swimmers, my experience as a new member of this team would not have been nearly as positive.

Realizing the value of having mentors and understanding that others look up to me simply because I am a member of the National Team, I try to pay that forward every day by setting the best example I can for others in and out of the pool. I go out of my way to interact with and be available to the younger kids dreaming of making the National Team some day. At every practice I make sure to give my lane mates and those around me words of encouragement and high fives before, during, and after reps and sets in order to inspire them to keep pushing to achieve new limits. I cheer for everyone at meets and make sure to congratulate everyone on their accomplishments, even the small ones, because I know that even the smallest compliments have the ability to change a person's attitude. I do not participate in negativity and I do my best to stop negative comments from circulating because I know that one negative person has the ability of bringing the whole team down.

Out of the Pool:
Out of the pool, I strive to be a leader in a number of different ways:
I attended Spanish Immersion school from Kindergarten through 5th grade and will complete the highest level Spanish class offered at my high school later this school year. Given my proficiency in this subject, I plan to be a Teaching Assistant for underclassmen next year in order to share my knowledge and mentor others.

When my team’s dry land program proved to be less than optimal, I - along with my parents - set out to establish a program that would work for me and the rest of my club’s National Team Members. Not only were we able to gain access to an appropriate training room and secure a professional training group able to create a program specific to swimming but we were able to recruit enough interest to get the program off the ground. Now, 6 months later, the team is expanding the program to all senior swimmers. We did the same thing with a Yoga for Elite Swimmers program.

I am a member of the Minnesota Swimming Athlete Committee working to ensure the athletes have a say in the future of the sport in our state.

Please explain how you pursue "healthy athletic performance" as a student-athlete.

A typical day consists of practice in the morning, school (where I am taking AP and Enriched classes) homework, evening practice, more homework and sleep. This leaves very little free time for much more than these responsibilities. Because my schedule is jam packed, I have become really good at organizing and managing my time. I don’t waste much time during the week. I try to fill any bit of time during the day doing the things that NEED to be done. This is the only way I am able to get to sleep at a reasonable time so that I can perform academically and physically the next day. I watch my diet very carefully to make sure I am getting the nutrition necessary to perform in the pool and the classroom and to recover from my workouts each day. And, in order to better balance things out, I focus on hanging out with my friends during lunch at school each day and try to schedule some down time with friends each weekend to relax and relieve stress. Thankfully swimming is a big stress reliever for me too so I am able to balance the craziness of my typical day by simply participating in my practices each day.

Please describe how you are involved in service in your community and why these efforts are important to you.

While swimming is very important to me, I am more than just a swimmer. I am a dedicated student and member of a community that I care about. I try to make a difference in my school and home community in various ways:

I am a member of the Minnesota Swimming Athlete Committee working to ensure the athletes have a say in the future of the sport in our state.

I have been a participant in the Edina High School Environmental Club’s Project Earth working to expand awareness and understanding of and solutions for environmental issues.

I am registered to be a Teaching Assistant for underclassmen who are taking Spanish courses in which I am already proficient.

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