2016 Trials Semifinalist Brandon Fischer Attempting Comeback at 29 (VIDEO)


  • USC Uytengsu Aquatic Center, Los Angeles, CA
  • July 12th-15th
  • Prelims at 8:30 a.m., finals at 5 p.m.
  • Psych sheet
  • Results on Meet Mobile: “2018 CA Los Angeles Invite (1)”

University of Wyoming alum Brandon Fischer, 29, is staging a comeback after taking a year-and-a-half off of training, he told SwimSwam at the 2018 Los Angeles Invite on Sunday.

Fischer ended his NCAA career in 2012, swam at Olympic Trials that year, then took a year or so off to focus on his studies. But in 2014, he took up training again with the Palo Alto Stanford Aquatics, swam on the 2014 Grand Prix circuit, then final-ed in the 200 breast at the 2014 U.S. Summer National Championships.

He continued racing through 2015, making stops on the 2015 Arena Pro Swim Series, ending his 2015 run with Summer Nationals. He began racing again in April 2016, and continued through 2016 Olympic Trials, where he was a semifinalist in the 200 breast. He wouldn’t race again until June 2018.

What was he doing in those two years? “If I told you, I’d have to kill you,” Fischer said.

But according to his Livermore Aqua Cowboys coach, Alex Silver, throughout this time, Fischer was pursuing an associate’s degree in engineering at Las Positas College (which he now applies to his mysterious job) and coaching swimming on the side. His fine arts degree from Wyoming just wasn’t paying the bills (though Fischer remains a talented artist).

“I love my job and went back and did a lot of science and engineering, and just wanted to push myself more,” Fischer explained, with a grin. “You only live once.” In December 2017, that feeling extended to the pool.

“I sat down and had a really hard conversation with myself and some really close people and said, ‘should I come back?’ And deep down, my heart told me ‘yes.'”

Now, Fischer works his full-time job and still joins the team for many of its regularly-scheduled workouts. However, some mornings, he swims alone with just Silver on-deck in order to accommodate his schedule.

Fischer made his return to racing at a senior-level open meet in early June, going 1:02.33 in the 100 breast and 2:19.21 in the 200. He swam both again at the Santa Clara stop of the 2018 TYR Pro Swim Series – there, he went a best time of 2:13.29 in the 200, and went two 1:02-mids in the 100 (and 28.39 in the 50 breast). Fischer wanted to get as close to his best times as possible (unshaved) at the LA Invite, and ended up going 1:02.13 in the 100 breast and 2:16.99 in the 200.

His 100 time ranks him 19th among American men this season, and his 200 ninth – just behind Cody Miller and Kevin Cordes.

“It’s all about staying in your own lane, and swimming your own race, and staying in the moment,” Fischer said, noting that many swimmers in LA this weekend were at different points in their careers and seasons. “I do have goal times, but I’d rather not put a limitation on my potential. I just want to enjoy the journey, and see what happens. Whatever happens, happens; you can only prepare for the moment.”

And should you be on the lookout for him at the 2018 Phillips 66 National Championships later this month?

“Oh yes.”


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5 years ago

He’s been tearing it up at local master’s meets, fun to watch!

Mr G
5 years ago

Great story Torrey!

Brandon apparently was a Pleasanton Seahawk long before our time. I first knew of him when he started up a chat with me before a race at a PASA meet about 5 years ago (usually swimmers act like S/T officials are invisible).

I hadn’t heard much about Brandon until I noticed him silvering at the LAI (which is no mean feat).

Good job Brandon–best wishes!

5 years ago

Very happy about his recent comeback. Best of luck to Brandon!

5 years ago

I hope he has the race that satisfies his goals. It sucks to have that lingering unaccomplished feeling.

25 free champ
5 years ago

You can do it!

Reply to  25 free champ
5 years ago

please bring back the old comments, this format is confusing and unwelcoming. Even if you take away likes, just bring it back

5 years ago

It’s always breaststrokers.

Chris Ritter
5 years ago

This is awesome and Alex is a great coach to guide him. Check out the podcast we did with Alex a while ago:


Reply to  Chris Ritter
5 years ago

Respectfully, IMO, not a big fan of the new commenting layout/system. I like the old version better.

Reply to  currentcollegeswimmer
5 years ago

Hey currentcollegeswimmer – thanks for your feedback, this isn’t a ‘new layout’ per se, it’s just a stopgap while there’s a glitch in the commenting system. Discuz, which is a massive platform, released an update last night that crashed the whole site (and I imagine many others, as our setup is not atypical).

Hopefully all will return to normal sooner rather than later!

Reply to  currentcollegeswimmer
5 years ago

Thanks for the message Braden! Sounds good.

Caeleb Dressel Will Win 9 Gold Medals in Tokyo
5 years ago

I hope he does well!

About Torrey Hart

Torrey Hart

Torrey is from Oakland, CA, and majored in media studies and American studies at Claremont McKenna College, where she swam distance freestyle for the Claremont-Mudd-Scripps team. Outside of SwimSwam, she has bylines at Sports Illustrated, Yahoo Sports, SB Nation, and The Student Life newspaper.

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