Noah Brune was about eight years old when he, like many Orange County kids, spent time in a summer swim league. After about two years in that setting, it was recommended he try club swimming, and it was there that his skills began to dramatically improve.
Now a senior at Santa Margarita Catholic High School, Brune will graduate this spring as one of the most decorated distance swimmers in the school’s history. He is a two-time National Interscholastic Swimming Coaches Association (NISCA) All-American in the 500-yard freestyle event and a member of Santa Margarita’s record-setting 4×100 Individual Medley relay team.
Additionally, Brune is a nationally ranked open water swimmer, having won the USA Swimming 2017 Open Water Championships junior men’s 5K national title. His passion for the sport is born out of his love to compete.
“I love the competition,” says Brune. “I love the pure enjoyment of racing, touching the wall and seeing that I’ve improved my time. It excites me and makes me work hard in the pool.”
The 17-year-old also swims the 200-yard freestyle and 200-yard medley relay events for the Eagles. Brune’s goals for his final high school season are to represent his team well and finish strong.
“Noah is more than just a fantastic swimmer,” says Santa Margarita swim head coach, Ron Blanc. “He’s a young man with heart and character who represents his school, his team and his family well. We will miss him next year, but his positive impact to our team will last.”
Despite his successes, Brune admits he can struggle with slumps and days where things do not go as planned.
“There are times where you work as hard as you can, and you just can’t drop (your race time),” says Brune. “I overcome that by picking things out in my race that I can count as a positive, and I work to fix the negatives. So I’m always learning new things from every race.”
Brune takes any shortcomings he experiences and leans on his faith to help him grow and persevere.
“For me, through practice and hard training, I know that God is always by my side, especially when it comes to the competition,” says Brune. “With the failures…I work hard, bounce back and get ready for the next competition. Also, I trust God and his plan for me.”
The Mission Viejo resident will be headed east in the fall to swim for Harvard University while studying either math or science. He credits his parents for modeling some of the biggest life lessons that he has learned from the sport.
“It all comes down to sacrifice, and my parents taught me that,” says Brune. “We’ve gone through a lot together. Without their help,
I wouldn’t have gotten to the place I am now. I look up to them, and hopefully when I’m older and have a family, I will be more like them.”