Senior Bronte Stewart currently competes for Oakland University, a swim and dive team in its second year as members of the Horizon League. Pete Hovland is the head coach at Oakland University, assisted by Shawn Kornoelje, Katie Sullivan, Andre Latour, Blaine Dolcetti, and Larry Albright (Diving). Oakland Swimming and Diving is known for their long history of success in the pool, starting in the Division II days. In Division II, Oakland won 20 National Championships between the Men and Women’s teams. After Oakland moved up to Division I, the teams continued their winning tradition, being undefeated at the conference championships 16 years in a row. Oakland University athletes are also known as the Golden Grizzlies (Oakland University Golden Grizzlies Athletics, 2015).
Bronte Stewart was born on November 30, 1992 to Chad Stewart and Lesli Zorn. She has four younger siblings, Chance, Tristen, Brecken, and Josie. Bronte started swimming when she was five because she simply loved to swim and could not stay out of the family’s backyard pool. She swam under Julie Youngquist at Lakeview Aquatic Club.
Bronte joined the Sturgis High School swim team under Ray Martin and quickly began to show her prowess as an IM swimmer. During her time at Sturgis High, Bronte exploited both her academic and athletic skills as she earned Academic All-American honors and three years’ worth of All-State honors, also winning the 200-yard IM at the Michigan state meet in 2009. In 2010, she was runner-up at state meet in both the 200-yard IM and the 100-yard free. Academically, Bronte was a part of the National Honors Society and Spanish National Honors Society and honor roll. She graduated in 2011.
During the fall of 2011, Bronte joined the Oakland swim team. Her freshman year, she helped the Golden Grizzlies cruise to a Summit League championship, with a sixth-place finish in the 200-yard freestyle and a 9th place finish in the 200-yard IM. During her second year, she and the Golden Grizzlies once again won the Summit League championship, with Bronte earning seventh in the 200-yard freestyle and making the consolation final in the 200-yard IM and 100-yard freestyle. In the 2013-14 season, Oakland participated for the first time in the Horizon League. Bronte again was a huge asset in helping her team claim the championship title.
Bronte did not just excel as an athlete at Oakland University, but also as a student and person. She is majoring in Wellness, Health Promotion and Injury Prevention with a focus and minor in Psychology. Bronte is also heavily involved with OUCARES, the Oakland University Center for Autism, and started the swim lessons branch of their program. She is set to graduate in the spring of 2015.