First it was the Olympic Trials, then the long and grueling recruiting process and now he focusing on leading Lassiter High School to a state title after placing second last year.
Getting to experience the Olympic Trials last August was something Bunner won’t forget.
After making an Olympic trial cut in the 100 backstroke, Bunner made the trip to Omaha, Neb., joining Lassiter teammate Jimmy Yoder, former Lassiter swimmer Bryan Lunquist and former girls swimmers Sammie Bosma, Shannon O’Malley and Sarah Losinger.
“It’s something that you don’t get to experience often,” said the Lassiter senior swimmer, who won state in the 200 individual medley last season in helping the Trojans place second overall. “The atmosphere of that place was so intense and having (Michael) Phelps and (Ryan) Lochte in the same pool as you was a complete honor.
“I swam good but it wasn’t a meet that I rested for. I went there for the experience.”
Then Bunner’s senior year at Lassiter began and so did his recruiting visits.
He made five different trips to visit Georgia, the University of Arizona, Auburn, North Carolina State and Virginia that took up the bulk of his fall season. And it was Virginia that made the biggest impression.
Not only did the Cavaliers and their coaching staff sold him to their program, but former Virginia swimmer and 2012 Olympic team member Matt McLean had a hand in swaying Bunner to join the team.
Now he’s glad it’s all over with.
“It was a ridiculous fall,” Bunner admitted.
Now that his “ridiculous” recruiting schedule behind him, Bunner can now focus on making his senior season with the Trojans his best one yet.
There’s three weeks left to the 21012-13 season and Bunner’s career at Lassiter and two of his most important meets have yet to come — the Cobb County championships this weekend at Mountain View Aquatic Center and the Class AAAAAA meet on Feb. 8-9 at Georgia Tech.
“Me and Jimmy (Yoder) want to win both of our races (at county) and get four (individual wins),” Bunner said. “That’s the way it has to play out. Walton has more people that can qualify for the finals. We just want to place as high as we can with the guys that we have.”
Bunner, who swims for the Chattahoochee Gold club team, will likely swim his strongest events — the 200 IM and 100 butterfly. He won both the 100 butterfly and 100 backstroke last season.
To be successful at the college level, Bunner said he’s working on his kicks and winning the close competitions.