A chat with the champ: Preble’s Brigitta Neverman
By Rich Palzewic
GREEN BAY – Not only is Green Bay Preble junior Brigitta Neverman a verbal commit to the University of Illinois, a Division I college in Champaign, she’s also a double state champ in the pool.
Swimming for Green Bay United, Neverman won both the 200-yard individual medley (IM) and the 100 butterfly at the Division 1 Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association state meet at Waukesha South High School April 6.
She won the IM in 2:01.86 and the butterfly in 54.87.
The IM includes swimming 50 yards each of the butterfly, backstroke, breaststroke and freestyle.
“It’s an awesome feeling,” Neverman said. “I wasn’t expecting to win both events, but I’m happy with it.”
Neverman came into state seeded third in the IM and first in the butterfly.
“After I won the IM, I said, ‘What if I win both?’ she said. “The front half of my IM – the butterfly and backstroke – is my strongest part, and I knew the girls I was racing against were good in the breaststroke and freestyle. I was nervous, and I went out fast the first 100. They were catching me, especially during the last 50 freestyle, but luckily, I finished first.”
Neverman said she was confident going into the butterfly race, but she stayed focused.
“I knew the other girls would come out fast, but I focused on my under-water work,” she said. “I went out in front and held it from there.”
Neverman said her Illinois coaches texted her “good luck” before the meet and “congratulations” after she won.
“My (college) coach said he watched the live stream of the events, so that made me super excited,” she said. “It was fun.”
Neverman’s brother, Kaiser, now swimming at the University of Minnesota, also won the same two events his senior year at Preble in 2020.
“My freshman and sophomore years, I swam the IM and 100 backstroke,” Neverman said. “This year, I decided to switch it to the IM and butterfly – I’m becoming more of a (butter) flyer now. After I won both events, Kaiser texted me and said, ‘Now, we both won the same events.’”
Neverman said winning two state titles adds a little pressure for her senior season this fall.
“It does add pressure,” she laughed. “It will be okay. I won’t put lots of pressure on myself, and I want good times before I go to college. I’ll have the rest of my senior year to get some good times, but state is always a great opportunity to swim fast. Some fast girls are coming in and some girls who swam last fall who didn’t compete this spring at state will be there.”
Neverman improved from eighth place her freshman year at state in the IM before finishing third in 2019.