Alumni Update: Brehmer is ready for final swimming season at UW-La Crosse

Published 8:55 pm Wednesday, August 10, 2016

The pool has been a home away from home for Austin grad Nick Brehmer for the better part of the last seven years, but he’s about to swim in his final season as a competitive swimmer this year.

Brehmer, an AHS grad who competed in four Class A state meets for the Packers, will be a senior swimmer at the University of Wisconsin La Crosse this season and he has logged in some success swimming for the Eagles. Brehmer was All-Conference in his freshman and sophomore seasons at UW-L and he’s hoping to finally swim in nationals this season.

“We’ve always been close to nationals, but we never quite got it,” Brehmer said. “Making it would be cool, but I want to have fun too. I’ve put in a lot of work in three years and I’m looking forward to kind of a relaxed year.”

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Brehmer has embraced the swimming scene at college. While he said meets are tougher with more strong swimmers than he faced in high school, Brehmer has gained some solid study habits and friendships from swimming.

“My best friend and roommate of four years is a swimmer and my girlfriend is a swimmer,” Brehmer said. “Swimming has actually helped me a lot with academics. You know you have practice at a certain time and you’ll have to do homework at a certain time. I find myself more on top of studies during the season. It’s a lot of planning and some late nights.”

Brehmer may have moved on from the Packer swimming team, but he never stopped following them. He stayed in touch with former Packer swimmer Craig Heimark as Heimark broke some of Brehmer’s records and won the 100-yard freestyle swim at the Class A state swimming meet in 2015.

Brehmer also reflects fondly on his time swimming under Austin head boys swimming and diving head coach Lynn Gulbrandson.

“Lynn has been awesome. I still come back and talk to him all of the time,” Brehmer said. “Every time I talk to him, it’s like I never left. He’s still funny, but he’s dedicated to the high school swimmers. I miss having him as a coach.”

Although swimming has become his main sport in college, Brehmer hasn’t forgotten about his soccer roots with the Packers. He plays intramural soccer with a group of other UW-L swimmers and last year his team finished second in the intramural league.

“That’s the fun side to play soccer in the offseason with friends. It’s a lot less stressful and it’s more fun,” Brehmer said.

Brehmer is majoring in Microbiology with a minor in business administration and he is working a summer internship with Hormel Foods.