After winning two individual state titles at the 1A state swim meet for Lake Norman Charter last season, Peter Brumm decided he wanted to challenge himself.
That's when he decided to transfer to soon-to-open Hough High for his junior season, so he could swim against better opposition.
"It's been a big jump from 1A to 4A," said Brumm, who won the 200-yard freestyle and the 100-yard butterfly titles for the Knights last February.
"You see a lot more competition, getting to swim against a lot of my friends from club swimming. It's just a lot harder ... but it gives me more athletic opportunities."
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Brumm, who's also a year-round swimmer for SwimMac, said being at a bigger school and getting to swim for Tim Queen, the former North Mecklenburg coach who has led his teams to three state titles in his 22-year coaching career, have also been big bonuses with his move to the Cornelius school.
"Queen is awesome," said Brumm. "He knows how to place people in events to give you a good opportunity to win."
Queen, who Brumm said is flexible with his year-round swimmers, explained that he considers himself lucky to have had a talented and versatile swimmer like Brumm transfer to Hough.
"That's like a present falling into your lap," he said. "We all want that kind of kid in our program."
Brumm, whose main events are middle distances and the butterfly, has had a lot of success in recent years, also excelling for his club team. Brumm qualified to USA Swimming's Junior Nationals Championships, which is a tremendous accomplishment. The event will be held in August at Stanford University
"That was my entire goal last year," the 6-foot-2 swimmer said. "It's a big meet, there'll be a lot of colleges there. ... It opens you to the entire national swimming world."
Brumm has worked hard to get to where he is, working out for three hours every day - and sometimes more - with his club and high school teams.
Queen said he's been impressed by Brumm's work ethic, adding that Brumm, who was selected as one of the Huskies' team captains, has set a good example for his teammates both in and out of the pool.
Brumm has had a good season, consistently being one of the top finishers for the Huskies along with sophomore freestyler Jack Manchester, a former Viking. On the girls' side, last year 4A state qualifiers Ali Kitchens and Payton Schrum have led the way.
The Huskies started the season off with a 9-1 record, an impressive feat for a first-year school.
"We're definitely exceeding expectations," said Queen.
Hough's lone loss came to I-Meck favorites Lake Norman, an experienced, well-rounded team that is among those in discussion for a state title. The Wildcats won the meet by only three points.
But Brumm isn't too worried about the regular season. He knows that won't matter if he and his Huskies can't perform at regionals and states.
Queen has high goals for his team for the next couple of weeks. The Huskies, which swam in Saturday's I-Meck Conference meet, will take part in the 4A West regionals Feb. 4-5, when they hope to qualify for the state meet the next weekend.
Queen, who has led both of his previous schools - Shelby High and North Meck - to state swimming titles, hopes his Huskies can finish among the top five in the state.
Brumm, who led Lake Norman Charter to a third-place finish at states last year, shares those goals.
"I want the team to win states," the 16-year-old said. "I want to do anything I can do to help that."
Even if the Huskies aren't able to win it all, Brumm sees a bright future for the program, which should return all of its swimmers next season.
"I see Hough winning a lot of conference titles and competing for state titles," he said.