Future Badger, Brookfield East junior Maggie Wanezek, continues family tradition
BROOKFIELD, Wis. (CBS 58) -- Whenever Brookfield East junior Maggie Wanezek is in the pool, family is always nearby. She spent two seasons swimming with her older sister Abby before she headed to Wisconsin this year. Now she swims with her younger sister Caroline.
"I think it's comforting to have them with me through this whole process I mean that many people get the opportunity to be with their sisters or be with their family in general when it comes to the sports," said Maggie Wanezek. "I believe that it makes it easier to perform well and easier to just love what you're doing"
"It's just really fun being able to bond over something like this just with the sport of love most," said Caroline, a Brookfield East freshman.
Maggie will continue to compete with her sister, Abby when she heads to Wisconsin. She says she felt the most comfortable with the coaches and atmosphere in Madison.
"Then obviously having my sister Abby there is definitely gonna be a bonus and it'll be super fun to be with her again," said Maggie.
The name Wanezek has been synonymous with Brookfield East since the mid-1990s. Maggie's dad, Tom, and his sisters Andrea, Sarah, and Tina all swam for Brookfield East. Tom, who still has school records with the Spartans to this day, is a 10-time individual champion and went on to swim at Indiana. Her aunt Sarah has 8 individual championships including winning the backstroke four straight years. She went on to be a three-time Big 12 swimmer of the year at Texas. Abby has 9 individual championships and currently holds five state meet records in individual and relay races.
Maggie is a part of two of those records, holds the state meet record in the 100-yard backstroke, and has five total state titles herself in individual and relay races. She can add to that this weekend Brookfield East goes for its fourth straight Division 1 team title, something that hasn't been done by any school since 2006. Maggie says living up to the expectations of her family name makes her nervous at times, but didn't call it pressure. Instead, she embraces it.
"It's honestly just an amazing opportunity and I couldn't be more grateful for it," said Maggie.
Maggie has qualified for four events at this weekend's meet, the 200 Yard Medley Relay, the 100 Yard Freestyle, the 100 Yard Backstroke, and the 400 Yard Freestyle Relay. Division 1 swimming begins at 8:30 a.m. on Saturday, Nov. 12th.
Brookfield East swim coach Mike Rose has coached all of the Wanezeks, starting with her dad as a freshman. He started coaching Maggie when she was seven.
"I think as a coach or teacher it's pretty cool to see multiple generations come through," said Rose. "She works incredibly hard and looks kind of easy because of the way she swims. I watch her do times in practice that I could never have dreamed of as a swimmer."
Not only has Maggie excelled at the high school level but nationally as well. She swims for the Elmbrook Swim Club. A club serving the Brookfield and Elm Grove communities. For the third straight year, the club was recognized by USA Swimming and this year broke into the top 10 among other nationally ranked programs.
"To crack the top 10 for a smaller team out of Midwest and Wisconsin it means a lot to our program and the kids and our parents and myself," said Brent Boock, Elmbrook Swim Club Head Coach. "Being a smaller club because a lot to the culture of support and excellence that these kids built. Not only are they great in the classroom, but they're great in the pool."
Maggie has won national meets with EBSC, including the Speedo Junior Nationals this past August.
"To do the things she's doing you've got to have talent in the work ethic and you know all the intangibles," says Boock. "It's been a pleasure to be with her on her journey."
EBSC features the best swimmers from the area. Some of them are Maggie's own Brookfield East teammates like Lucy Thomas, who's committed to Stanford, or at other schools like Arrowheads Campbell Stoll, heading to Texas. The stellar talent to practice and compete with helped her grow.
"This generation of amazing swimmers that we have, it's just been nice to be able to again watch them progress but also see myself progress with them," said Maggie.
"Being the best you can be is helping your teammates be the best they can be," said Boock. "Somedays, I might get the better of a teammate and other days that teammate might get the better of me but at the end of the day we're both getting better."
Wanezek has a long-term goal of making a United States Olympic team. She's gotten a taste of it, competing with her teammate Lucy Thomas at the Olympic Trials for the Tokyo Olympics. This summer, she competed with the junior national team winning gold in the 100-yard backstroke at the Junior Pan Pacific Swimming Championships in Hawaii competing against swimmers from Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Singapore, Fiji and Samoa.
"It was super surreal for me to have the team USA on my suit or the American flag on my cap. It was just honestly a dream come true or something that I wanted to do ever since I was a little kid and I'm just humbled and amazed that I got to have that opportunity," says Maggie.