Brooklyn Dressel’s Improbable Rise To Success At CSUEB

Jared Darling, Sports Photographer

Brooklyn Dressel’s path from her hometown of Wenatchee, Washington to CSUEB’s  swim program, wasn’t as straightforward as she might have hoped for but nonetheless, she is happy to have found a home here at CSUEB. 


Dressel, a product of “The Heart Of Washington,” began swimming at 8-years-old and fell in love. Fast forward to her highschool years, Dressel excelled in her school’s swimming program at Wenatchee High. Much like her older sisters, Isabelle and Rae Ann, Dressel was a standout swimmer at Wenatchee High, maintaining a position on the women’s varsity team all four seasons. Her sisters Isabelle, who swam for Brown University, and Rae Ann, who swam for the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, are great inspirations for Drussel. “With how well the both of them swam, that set my standards very high for myself, they’ve definitely pushed me,” remarked Dressel. This constant inspiration within their household led one of CSUEB’s star swimmers to achieve the same goals that both her sisters did – swim for a Division I program.


After graduating high school in 2021, Dressel  was able to achieve this goal by committing to San Jose State University (SJSU) to continue her swimming career. However, after arriving at SJSU she felt that the team wasn’t quite the right fit for her.  Dressel then made the decision  to put herself in the transfer portal with hopes of finding a university with a better fit, additionally she contemplated on retiring from competitive swim altogether. That was until CSUEB’s head coach, Shane Pelton, found Dressel’s profile picture for her recruiting page and noticed a familiar face. 


Pelton noticed Emma Knott in the picture with Dressel. Knott, a native of East Wenatchee, and Dressel are childhood friends and have competed with each other for Velocity Swimming. Because of their picture together, head coach Pelton decided to reach out in hopes of Dressel joining the program. Dressel attributes this opportunity from coach Pelton for keeping her competitive juices alive: “I probably wouldn’t have kept swimming if Shane hadn’t convinced me to come to East Bay. I transferred halfway through my freshman year, and I’m really glad I did.”


Since taking her first plunge into the Pioneer pool, Dressel has experienced continued success. She primarily participates in the freestyle events and is an integral part of the relay teams. As a freshman at East Bay, Dressel was named to the College Swimming Coaches Association of America, All-American Second Team and competed in the NCAA Championships.


Now, in her second year at East Bay, Dressel has taken her success to new heights. She has been on a dominant run since the season began, seemingly earning a podium finish every time she jumps in the pool. Her most notable performance came in the Slug Shootout in Santa Cruz. During the two day event, Dressel racked up five individual first-place finishes and was a part of four first-place relay finishes. During the first half of the season, Dressel has amassed over ten first-place finishes over her individual and team performances, including her dominant Slug Shootout. 


Despite Dressel’s short-lived Division I dreams, she is delighted to call CSUEB home. According to the decorated swimmer, the Pioneer team is, “the most supportive team I’ve ever been on, from encouragement during tough practices, to the excitement everyone gets watching each other race. It’s a great place to be with so much energy.” 


As the final stretch of the season nears, Dressel is excited for the future. “I look forward to improving my times and watching my teammates improve, and I hope that we can send more and more people to [the] NCAAs,” she concluded. 


With Dressel’s talent and the success of the women’s swim team, East Bay has their eyes set on returning as Pacific Collegiate Swim Conference Champions.