Here’s a riddle: What is sopping wet and dry as a bone at the same time?
Answer: Maria Carrillo senior Piper Brockley.
Brockley is the reigning All-Empire Swimmer of the Year. She’s also a self-described crier.
“I’m a pretty emotional person,” she said. “It’s always kind of a joke, if I get above a seven or below a three, I start crying.”
So there is Brockley, sopping wet from the race of her life, having PR’d her premier event, the 100-meter breast stroke, to earn a spot at the Olympic Trials in Omaha, Neb., in June and she’s not shedding a tear.
“It was almost disappointing. Like, really? I couldn’t get anything out this once?” she said.
Maybe it was enormity of the situation.
“It’s such a tough thing to get into,” Maria Carrillo swim coach Rick Niles said. “When you have done that you have really made it in the world of swimming.”
It speaks volumes about the quality of area swim programs that among Brockley’s breast stroke competitors in Omaha at the Trials will be Petaluma High grad and USC freshman Riley Scott, and University of Tennessee alum and Santa Rosa High grad Molly Hannis. Maria Carrillo and Stanford grad Maya DiRado will also be there. DiRado and Hannis swam with the Neptune Swimming club, for which Brockley still competes.
“Molly used to help me with my breaststroke when I was younger and I was just star-struck by them,” Brockley said of Hannis and DiRado.
Which made it all the sweeter that both Hannis and DiRado were at the same meet in Florida that Brockley made the time cut for Omaha.
“It shows what a strong program Neptunes are,” she said. “To see that they are still thinking about us as a club and supportive was so cool.”
Brockley has similar affection for her Pumas squad. She gets to practice with the Maria Carrillo squad only once a week because of her club schedule, but Niles said she makes the most of it.
“She’s a really hard worker, an amazing competitor,” he said.
Brockley and many of Carrillo’s other elite swimmers spend Friday practices working on relay timing and starts, but also working with more inexperienced members of the team.
“She’s really good at it,” Niles said. “I think that is one reason that our team has been good in the past and continues to be.”
Maria Carrillo’s boys and girls have won the North Bay League every year of Brockley’s high school career.
“High school swimming is so different from club swimming,” she said. “It’s a completely different atmosphere.”
“It’s fun to see kids who are out there just because they love swimming,” she said.
And Brockley counts herself among them.
“I’m a huge fan of Maria Carrillo High School. I’m so thankful I had the opportunity to go to high school there,” she said. “Representing my school is so fun for me.”
So having to stand on the deck instead of being in the water in a dual meet with rival Santa Rosa High on Friday afternoon was not easy. Brockley has been dealing with a tweaked knee after coming off the blocks awkwardly at Neptunes practice.