Brecken Merkel De-Commits from Iowa, Chooses Mizzou for 2021

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Aquajets Swim Team’s Brecken Merkel is headed to Mizzou next fall, joining their class of 2025. She’s a senior at Edina High School in the Twin Cities area.

Merkel was initially committed to Iowa but has de-committed after Iowa announced it would be cutting the swim program.

“I am extremely happy to announce my verbal commitment to continue my academic and swimming career at the University of Missouri. A huge thank you to everyone that has helped me through these uncertain times! Go Tigers!”


  • 50 free – 23.95
  • 100 free – 51.54
  • 100 fly – 55.66
  • 200 fly – 2:00.97
  • 200 IM – 2:03.58
  • 400 IM – 4:24.96

Merkel was a double A-finalist at the 2019 Minnesota AA HS State Championships, placing third in the 200 IM (2:04.26) and sixth in the 100 fly (56.19). She also led off both of Edina High School’s free relays at that meet, which both finished runner-up. Last summer, Merkel reached the 200m fly A-final at the 2019 NCSA Summer Championships, placing seventh in 2:16.44 after going a lifetime best 2:16.15 in prelims to come within two seconds from the Olympic Trials cut.

Last fall, Merkel switched clubs from Edina Swim Club to the Aquajets; she’s raced a few meets this summer post-quarantine and went a lifetime best 2:23.77 in the 200 breast in August.

Mizzou returns sprint butterfliers Sarah Thompson and Meredith Rees this year, and Rees will have two years of overlap with Merkel. Mizzou just graduated Azra Avdic, their top 200 butterflier last year (1:59.47), while their next-best last year, Danielle Hepler (1:59.49), has transferred to Texas A&M after two seasons with Mizzou.

Merkel joins Abbey Taute, Ashley Gill, Colleen Duffy and Taylor Williams in the Mizzou class of 2025.

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About Karl Ortegon

Karl Ortegon

Karl Ortegon studied sociology at Wesleyan University in Middletown, CT, graduating in May of 2018. He began swimming on a club team in first grade and swam four years for Wesleyan.

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