VICTORIA – Peter Brothers tested the waters at a couple of universities but feels the wisest decision is to stay in his backyard.
The 17-year-old distance freestyle specialist will attend the University of Victoria and continue to train in his hometown at the Swimming Canada High Performance Centre – Victoria.
A high school senior, Brothers visited two other excellent Western Canadian universities for swimmers – the University of British Columbia and the University of Calgary – and trained for a weekend with each club.
“Both those schools are among the best in Canada and their record at developing Olympians speaks for itself,” said Brothers. “In the end the best thing for me was to stay in Victoria. Being at home is one less thing to worry about. I’m familiar with our program in Victoria. I think it is important to be comfortable with what I’m doing.”
Canada’s male youth swimmer of the year in 2012 is preparing for the Canadian Swimming Trials to be held in Victoria April 2-5. He hopes earn a spot on the national team for the Commonwealth Games or Pan Pacific Championships, with a goal of ultimately competing at the 2016 Olympics.
“It’s really important for us to have Peter in Victoria,” said Randy Bennett, the head coach at Swimming Canada’s High Performance Centre – Victoria. “He has come through the Island Swimming program and he is comfortable with the expectations. Plus he will live at home and not have to deal with a new life of living in residence.”
Victoria is the stable for Canada’s best distance freestylers. In addition to two-time Olympic medallist Ryan Cochrane, world championship medallist Eric Hedlin and the other Brothers brother, Will, are among the distance group. Will Brothers is the second-fastest Canadian ever in the 1500-m freestyle, as he qualified for world championships in an exciting battle at last year’s trials.
“The atmosphere in Victoria with Ryan, Eric and Will is ideal for good distance performances,” said Peter Brothers. “Having that support from others who are training in the same event really helps a lot. Our success shows that it works.”
Brothers is also working hard at improving his 200-m freestyle and 200-m backstroke events.
“He is still young and we are trying to work towards what specific events would be best for him,” said Bennett.
In 2013, Brothers broke through on the national scene. He was on Canada’s youth team at the Australian Olympic Youth Festival and he ended the year as a member of the Canadian team for the FINA World Junior Swimming Championships in December.
Being on youth and junior national teams in 2013, Brothers would love nothing more than to be on a senior squad in 2014.