Brooks Fail on Having More Fun Than Ever, Even After the 2Fly/Mile Double


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Reported by Karl Ortegon.


  1. Brooks Fail (Arizona) – 14:37.60
  2. Felix Auboeck (Michigan) – 14:42.29
  3. Jack Collins (Texas) – 14:45.83

Texas’s Chris Yeager got out to the early lead, but Arizona’s Brooks Fail began making his move at the start of the second half of this race. His lead ballooning, it was Yeager, Jack Collins of Texas, and Felix Auboeck of Michigan who battled in the group behind.

Fail charged ahead, and finished first with a nation #2 time of 14:37.60. Auboeck, the defending national champion, left the second pack behind to hammer home with a 14:42.29, and Collins settled for third at 14:45.83. Yeager was fourth at 14:48.69.

Also slipping under 15 minutes were Michigan’s Will Roberts (14:54.04) and Cal’s Sean Grieshop (14:57.26).


  1. Sam Pomajevich (Texas) – 1:39.35
  2. Trenton Julian (Cal) – 1:41.14
  3. Brooks Fail (Arizona) – 1:42.13

Taking his swim out with a 21.8 leading 50, Sam Pomajevich looked like a greyhound, loping through the race with long, low, powerful strokes. He got to the wall well ahead of the field, and ended up tying his personal best and nation-leading time of 1:39.35 that he’d done on Wednesday night in a time trial.

Cal’s Trenton Julian swooped in for second, going 1:41.14 to claim the #3 time in the nation this year, just two-tenths off of Maxime Rooney‘s 1:40.94 from this morning, which is the #2 time. That gives context to how far ahead Pomajevich is right now; no other NCAA swimmer has been within 1.5 seconds of him in this event.

After winning the mile at the beginning of tonight’s session, Brooks Fail got back in for another grueling race and managed to race to third in 1:42.13, just a tenth off of his morning swim. Those two swims are his only sub-1:46 performances in history. Michigan’s Miles Smachlo was also under 1:43, going 1:42.74 for fourth.

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2 years ago

Watch out for Brooks Fail, true rising star. Great kid for the wildcats!

2 years ago

Very impressed with Brook’s ability to back half is races in a way very can or even attempt. Takes trust in your training to make it work the way he does. They all know he is back there lurking and waiting to go. Scary! Not quite Jeff Kostoff level when he used to back half his 400 IM’s back in the day. Look up his 400 IM at the 1984 Olympic Trials. I think he was eighth at the 100, seventh at the 200 and overtook the field and an all-time great in Jesse Vassallo for the win. He did this all the time. Brooks Fail seems to have that kind of fortitude!

Reply to  SwimSam
2 years ago

Yeah. In the final of the 500 free at NCAA’s last year, he got third. He was in the back of the pack for the first half of the race and then steadily moved up until he had passed all but Townley Haas and Sean Grieshop. He and Sean had a sprint to the finish on the final lap.

He showed an excellent sense of pace, which is an important skill for a distance swimmer.

Reply to  SwimSam
2 years ago

Check our Worlds (and probably Olympics), the top 3 or 3 all even or negative split the 400….it is not unusual!

2 years ago

Sneakily a contender for the Olympic team. With the 400 being so relatively weak for the US a kinda lesser known college star like him has a better chance than usual

Brooks Fan 11
2 years ago

Great gentlemen…really represents what a true wildcat strives for. His performances out east for crazy good, expect too see him final at PAC-12’s and moving forward the ISL. Keep up the good work.

About Coleman Hodges

Coleman Hodges

Coleman started his journey in the water at age 1, and although he actually has no memory of that, something must have stuck. A Missouri native, he joined the Columbia Swim Club at age 9, where he is still remembered for his stylish dragon swim trunks. After giving up on …

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