When the season ends and she hangs up her lacrosse goggles for good, Blake senior Brynne Swearingen can see a future in which she’s hobnobbing in pretty swanky circles.
Swearingen, a defender of who makes up for in grit what she lacks in height, is hoping to help the Bears to their sixth consecutive girls’ lacrosse state championship. When it’s over, however, Swearingen will begin her future as an artist, most likely in the field of fashion. She’s headed to Washington University in St. Louis, where she will be a fashion design major at the highly respected Sam Fox School of Design and Visual Arts.
“I love art, and ever since last year I’ve wanted to be a part of the fashion design community,” she said.
While she admits there’s long way to go to get from Minnesota to the runways of New York, Paris and Milan, Swearingen lets herself dream a little.
“I would hope I could be in some of those places someday,” she said. “Like, ‘Look, there’s a picture of Brynne sitting next to [Vogue editor] Anna Wintour.’ ”
Staff writer Jim Paulsen talked to Swearingen about her athletic background and her potentially glamorous future.
Q: Do you play any other sports or just lacrosse?
A: I did diving for about four years and gymnastics for about 12. I quit gymnastics after eighth grade and diving after 10th.
Q: What about lacrosse resonated with you?
A: I love lacrosse, but it’s not just about the sport. It’s about being a part of a team and the friends I’ve met. It’s as much about the girls on the team as it is about lacrosse.
Q: As a defender, you never get the chance to score. Do you ever dream about scoring a goal?
A: When I first started on varsity in ninth grade, it got to me a little bit. But then I recognized that defense wins championships. Now, I would much rather be a defender. It’s a good feeling to shut someone down.
Q: What has been the most unexpected result of all of Blake’s success in lacrosse?
A: The reputation that comes with it when I wear my Blake lacrosse stuff out. People look at you and say “Wow” and things like that. Some people tear you down because of it, but I’m proud of it.
Q: How did you develop your interest in art?
A: The Walker Art Center is right by Blake [Lower Campus]. So my friends and I go over there a lot to look at the new exhibits. There’s another small gallery that we go to, the Groveland Gallery. I like art that’s more personal.
Q: Got a favorite?
A: There’s one by Michaelangelo Pistoletto. It’s painted on a mirror and it’s called “Man on a Balcony.” And I like the big Chuck Close self-portrait.
Q: Why Washington University instead of some of the big fashion schools on the coasts?
A: A friend who is a professional in the fashion industry told me that a degree from Washington would help in the business side of fashion. Making it as a designer is very hard, so I want to know the business side, too. I want to be realistic.
Q: What is one fashion trend you can’t stand?
A: There have been a few times in history where jean outfits have come back. I think those are horrid. Most things I haven’t seen, though. I’ve only been alive 18 years.
Q: What is Brynne Swearingen’s Theory of Life?
A: When my brother graduated four years ago, one of his friends wrote [in his yearbook] “Live life like you’re the captain of a sinking ship.” It’s about being alert and ready for anything. That phrase has always stuck with me.