Michael Brinegar

View Current photo via Courtesy of Mike Lewis

Michael Brinegar is a 2020 Olympian who specializes in distance swimming.


Mother, Jennifer Hooker Brinegar swam at Indiana and was a member of the 1976 Olympic Team. Father, Jamie Brinegar, was a track and field athlete at Yale. Brother, Kevin Brinegar, swam at Denison University.

National/International Competition

2017 FINA World Junior Championships

Brinegar was the runnerup in the 1500 freestyle and bronze medalist in the 800 freestyle at the FINA World Junior Championships.

2018 French Open Water Championships

Brinegar qualified for a spot on the Pan Pacific Championships team in the open water 10K by finishing eighth overall, first among Americans at the French Open Water Championships in Gravelines, France on May 31, posting a time of 1:44.30. He also aided the U.S. Mixed Relay team to a gold medal.

2021 Olympic Trials

Brinegar made his first Olympic team in the summer of 2021 by finishing 2nd in the 800 free behind Bobby Finke at the Olympic Trials, clocking a PB of 7:49.94. Brinegar later qualified in the 1500 free as well, once again finishing 2nd behind Finke with a 15:00.87.

2020 Olympic Games

In Tokyo, Brinegar placed 17th in both the 800 free (7:53.00) and 1500 free (15:.04.67).

College (Indiana)


In his freshman season, Brinegar posted elite times throughout the season in the 1,000 and 1,650. At the 2019 B1G Championships, Brinegar placed 2nd behind Felix Auboeck, finishing in 14:31.73 to Auboeck’s 14:29.58.

At the NCAA’s, the B1G pair finished in the same order, with Auboeck taking the national title and Brinegar finishing as national runner-up in a career-best of 14:27.50.


Brinegar opted to take an Olympic red shirt for the 2019-2020 season, returning home to California to train with his club team, the Mission Viejo Nadadores.


Brinegar was back at Indiana for the 2020-21 season, scoring at both the conference and NCAA meets. Brinegar became the first Hoosier since 1991 to win the 1,650 title at the Big Ten Championships, clocking a 14:38.26 for gold. He also placed 6th in the 500 free and 17th in the 400 IM.

At the NCAA Championships, Brinegar earned All-American status by finishing 10th in the 1,650 (14:45.50).


At the 2022 Big Ten Champs, Brinegar placed 17th in the 500 free and 400 IM as well as 4th in the 1,650 (14:46.53).  At his 3rd NCAA Championships, Brinegar finished 6th in the 1,650 (14:33.76) and 40th in the 500 free.

After his 3rd season at Indiana, Brinegar announced he would forego the rest of his NCAA eligibility and turn pro. He initially returned to California to train with his club coach, Mark Schubert, and the elite team he had built in SoCal. After a year in Orange County, Brinegar moved to train at Ohio State with, among others, national team distance swimmer Charlie Clark.

Best Times

Course Event Time Date Meet
scy 500 Free 4:16.46 03/28/19 2019 NCAA Championships
Austin, Texas
scy 1650 Free 14:27.50 03/30/19 2019 NCAA Championships
Austin, Texas
lcm 800 Free 7:54.56 08/04/19 2019 Summer Nationals
Palo Alto, California
lcm 1500 Free 15:00.82 07/31/19 2019 Summer Nationals
Palo Alto, California
Michael Brinegar (photo: Jack Spitser) Michael Brinegar (photo: Jack Spitser) Michael Brinegar Bobby Finke (photo: Jack Spitser) Michael Brinegar (photo: Jack Spitser) Micahel Brinegar (photo: Mike Lewis) Michael Binegar TYR Pro Swim Series Austin, Texas (photo: Mike Lewis) Photo courtesy of Jamie Brinegar