Bryce Halterman commits to swim for Michigan


I remember talking to Bryce Halterman on one occasion. We were just messing around, just chatting, and he suggested that we exchange autographs, on the off chance that one of us made it big.
Let’s just say, I’m saving Bryce’s autograph.
After some deliberation, the Burroughs senior has committed to swim for the University of Michigan, a prestigious school in both academics and athletics. I recently enjoyed an opportunity to sit down with Bryce and talk to him about his journey, discussing everything from school to swimming to his career aspirations.
Now, anybody who knows Klaus and Tina Halterman’s son knows that he’s a swimmer; after all, he’s swum almost his entire life. One of Bryce’s most treasured swimming memories came when he was just 10 years old. Despite his young age, he took first at a regional meet, a victory that propelled the rest of his team to success. Perhaps at this time young Bryce began believing that he might be able to do something special in the sport, kicking off years of dedication and commitment that molded him into the student-athlete he is today.
And believe me, dedication has been key in earning the new Michigan recruit a spot on the team. Bryce walked me through his typical day.
“After school, I drive two hours to Santa Clarita where we have our general swim practice,” said Bryce. “Then I drive back and go to the gym for an hour. I usually end up going to sleep at around 11 p.m.” Homework is done in the car, allowing Bryce to maintain his straight-A status in Burroughs’ most rigorous coursework. His father Klaus does most of the driving, for which Bryce said he’s grateful.
“He was always there to support me, even at the lowest points in my career,” said Bryce.
Bryce’s decision to go to Michigan was never a given; in fact, he only considered the institution recently. The swimming phenom, who hopes to become an aerospace engineer, first considered schools where he could focus on his education while swimming, and Ivy League schools such as Columbia, Cornell, and Yale topped the list. However, as he began improving rapidly in his sport, he became more interested in bettering his swimming career and took a closer look at schools with a strong aquatics program.
It came down to Berkeley and Michigan, with Michigan edging out Cal.
“They were both really great,” said Bryce, “but I decided on Michigan. Their program is really good. Having the opportunity to win a championship with a really prestigious university is an opportunity that no one would want to pass up.”
Michigan is no slacker in academics, either; it’s routinely ranked as one of the best public schools in the United States, even listed as one of the Top 25 schools in the world. Bryce will join some remarkable company as a Wolverine; individuals such as Larry Page, Arthur Miller, Tom Brady, and Derek Jeter are all Michigan graduates.
Bryce grew up watching the likes of Michael Phelps, Ryan Murphy, and Kaleb Dressel, all Olympic-level athletes. Wth his attendance at the University of Michigan, hard work, and dedication, Bryce hopes to add his name to that impressive list. The Burroughs senior’s biggest dream is to make an Olympic team and, after that, to earn a medal.
“Going to the Olympics would be something special,” said Bryce, whose main events are the 100-yard butterfly, 50-yard freestyle, and 100-yard freestyle.
There’s this one quote posted on every locker room door, every coach’s desk, every weight room wall: “Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard.” To me, Bryce is what you get when you have both. Sure he’s a natural athlete, but the dude has worked his butt off. Not just anybody is willing to drive two hours, work hard for three, drive two hours back, and then work out at the gym for another hour before collapsing into bed at eleven at night. It takes a special sort of guy to do that, and Bryce is one of those rare individuals.
Those who know him are quick to put his accomplishment in context.
“I have advised student-athletes for 25 years,” said Burroughs Head Counselor Dave Vigneault. “What impresses me more than one’s athletic ability is the fact that to be a Division 1 student athlete, the student must achieve a higher level of academic achievement. Oftentimes those NCAA requirements are more difficult to achieve than a university’s admissions requirements. People should celebrate Bryce, not just for his aquatics abilities, but because he is a top student at Burroughs. These things combined are very difficult to achieve. Hats off to Bryce and his entire family for getting to this point.”
Principal Carrie Cope and his counselor John Hill echoed Vigneault’s praise.
“Bryce has worked very hard in swimming and academics,” said Cope. “I’m proud of him and his accomplishments. I’m glad Michigan recognized him and is rewarding him for his hard work and dedication.”
“Bryce is an amazing student!” added Hill. “This is such an honor for our school and community to have one of our students accepted into a Division I school for athletics. Bryce is both an amazing student and athlete. To be able to balance both of those responsibilities is an impressive feat!”
Considering Bryce’s success, it’s clear that he prizes accomplishment and the effort to make it happen. That’s what keeps him in the pool.
“I have control over everything,” said Bryce. “If I win it’s because of what I did, and if I lose it’s because of something that I didn’t do. So being able to take accountability and having the capability to improve is why I really like it. It’s all a result of what you do.”
His fans look forward to seeing what he does next.