SOUTHINGTON - For the last seven years, Brendon and Brian Egan have been swimming in the same lane at the Southington YMCA.
Separated by just a year, the Egan brothers are with each other almost every single moment of every single day - at home, at school and at practice. Often, they are each other’s best source of inspiration and competition.
“It’s been pretty fun swimming with Brendon,” Brian said. “It’s always great to have someone to talk too and having someone push me more. We have a greater connection. He’s always there pushing me. He’s a great motivator and I can always look up to him. It’ll be a big loss, losing my brother next year.”
As with any siblings, one would think being together all the time would cause a little trouble. But the way the Egans look at it, the good always outweighs any issues that may arise.
“He's been behind me for years, so he’s always on my feet,” Brendon said. “It can get a little stressful between us because we're brothers and we always get into stupid little arguments, but at the end of the day, it’s great to have your brother in the pool. He even comes home with you after being at the pool.”
Currently, there are three sibling rivalries on the Southington boys swim team this season, including the Egan brothers.
“We actually have a lot of family connections up and down the lineup, whether current or former athletes, which I think is a great sign of the program,” Southington head coach Evan Tuttle said. “But the Egans are outstanding. They are their own best competition for each other to continue to improve each day and they know they’re going to hear it when they get home.”
When it comes to the Egan brothers, Tuttle says they’re incredible, both being all-around outstanding athletes in and out of the pool.
“Brandon has set an excellent example for his younger brother Brian,” Tuttle said. “And I have no doubt that [Brian] will pick up the torch from here on out and finish his junior and senior year campaign strong just like his older brother.”
In the fall, Brendon will be attending Manhattan College in Riverdale N.Y., a Division I school in the MAAC conference, where the Blue Knights senior will continue his swimming career.
“It was kind of a last minute decision to be honest,” Brendon said. “I applied to the college and then I sent out an email as an interest, but the coach never got back to me. Last minute, I was actually about to go to Springfield [College], but I just sent the coach another email. Once she received it, automatically the process started and I ended up there.”
With Brendon graduating, Brian will have pretty big shoes to fill once he is gone.
“I’m just going to continue his legacy,” Brian said.
For the Egans, swimming has always been a big part of their lives. The brothers began swimming at an early age - Brendon was 11 and Brian was nine.
“There was a lifeguard out at a summer camp and saw both of us swim,” Brendon said. “She was actually on the Southington swim team at the time and recommended us to swim at the Y[MCA]. We ended up here, and we’ve stayed every since.”
“We didn’t really like baseball a lot,” Brian added. “We were the most unathletic [kids] until we came to swimming. We both jumped on the chance.”
It has certainly worked out for both, especially at the high school level.
And with this year’s regular season over, both Egan brothers have high goals set for themselves and their team as they tune up for the Class LL meet in the next two weeks (March 10th).
“Our goal is to advance the farthest we have in states,” Brendon said. “We want to get the most amount of people [from Southington] in, construct the relays as best we can to place high, and I myself want to get into Opens individually.”
Brendon wants to compete in the 100 breaststroke and 100 butterfly.
In the latter, he is aiming toward claiming the Southington High School pool record and in order to do so, he would need to go 54.00 or under.
Brian, meanwhile, will be aiming to reach the Open in both the 50 and 100 freestyles and will be looking forward to improving his best times.
“I just want to be able to help the team grow as well as get faster,” Brian said.
Shelby Iava can be reached at (860) 801-5096 or firstname.lastname@example.org