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Austin and Logan Briggs leading Liberty swimmers | Boys swim & dive

Left: Logan Briggs swims the 500 freestyle. Right: Austin Briggs swims the 50 freestyle. - Submitted photos
Left: Logan Briggs swims the 500 freestyle. Right: Austin Briggs swims the 50 freestyle.
— image credit: Submitted photos

On paper Austin and Logan Briggs might seem very similar. Both attend Liberty and swim for the Issaquah Swim Team. Both are excellent students and both are state-level swimmers.

Off paper, they couldn’t be more different.

Austin is reserved, serious and a perfectionist. Logan is loud, goofy and “definitely not a perfectionist,” according to their mom Melanie Briggs.

“Austin is very methodical and thoughtful,” said Liberty swim coach Kris Daughters. “Logan just goes for broke. It’s interesting to see two brothers who are so different.”

Austin swims with his head. He knows his best times, he’s technical. Logan doesn’t pay attention to his best times, only the finish line.

They approach the sport itself with different motivations.

“Logan likes to race. I’m not sure Austin loves to race,” Daughters said. “Austin loves being on the team and loves being a captain. Logan loves to win.”

Austin

There was a time when Austin struggled to swim straight.

“He must have swam like eight lengths in one because he’d just go diagonal across the lane, touching either side,” Melanie said with a laugh. “It took him forever to swim one length.”

The 18-year-old senior has come a long way. Austin finished 15th in the 50 freestyle at the 3A state meet last season. He has a top-seven time in every event except the 100 fly (16th).

For a perfectionist, the 50 (an event where the slightest mistake has big ramifications) can be a challenge.

“I try not to think about mistakes before the race,” he said. “If I do, it will make me a little jittery or nervous. Before I jump in the water, I just jump around and get focused.”

Austin has also worked hard to change his attitude, easing up on himself. Last season, he would get down when he added time. This season, he’s more relaxed.

Another change for Austin this season is a bigger role in the team dynamic. As a senior and a captain, it’s his responsibility to interact with every team member.

“During the season I’m more boisterous,” he said. “I’m usually a pretty withdrawn guy, but my role as captain kind of dictates that I talk more. It’s a good learning experience for me.”

Another part of his job is rooting for all of his teammates, even Logan – something that comes naturally.

“I’m really happy when he does well,” Austin said of his brother.

Things weren’t always so easy. In middle school Logan hit a growth spurt and started to get taller, stronger and faster.

“He just started taking off, shooting upward in height and getting a lot more muscle,” Austin said. “I found myself falling behind in his wake.”

Austin, who is two A minuses short of a 4.0 on a heavily AP and honors- laden course, applied to Stanford and the University of Washington. He’s already been accepted to the UW and is waiting to hear back from Stanford.

Logan

The competitive edge in Logan was visible early on. Melanie remembers how he, at 7 years old, would leap off the starting block with no reservation or finesse.

“He would get out there as far as he could and bellyflop because he just wanted to win,” Melanie said. “He still has that. He still just wants to win.”

It’s that edge that has taken him so far. Logan placed fourth in the 500 freestyle, seventh in the 100 back and placed as part of two relays at state last season.

And he’s not done yet. The thrill of setting new standards keeps him going.

“I like the feeling of meeting my goals and making new ones,” Logan said. “It always gives me something new to strive for.”

Just a 16-year-old sophomore, Logan has a top-four time in Liberty’s history in every event and the school record in the 500 freestyle.

Logan recently took a KingCo title, and broke a meet record, in the 200 individual medley. He finished the regular season one event short of the Ironman (qualifying for state in every swimming event).

But success doesn’t come easily. Between practices at Issaquah Swim Team and Liberty, he goes to 12 sessions a week.

Logan said he takes club swimming more seriously because it is more competitive. High school swimming is generally more low-key, until you get to state that is.

“The atmosphere at the state meet is so hyped up,” he said. “It makes you really happy when you do well.”

Briggs is carrying a 4.0 and is looking at California and Stanford as possible college destinations.

State meet

The 2010 3A state swim and dive meet is Feb. 18-20 at King County Aquatic Center in Federal Way.

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