Nov. 19, 2009
GoFrogs.com recently sat down with TCU swimming sophomore Ashley Bolin to share her preparations leading up to the Horned Frogs' first home meet of the season against Wyoming Saturday. The meet begins at 1 p.m. at the University Rec Center Natatorium.
Bolin is coming off an outstanding freshman season that included 17 wins and a pair of TCU records. The Oshkosh, Wis., native currently holds the program's top times in the 200-free (1:48.61) and 500-free (4:52.89). Bolin also excelled in the classroom, earning a spot on the Mountain West Conference Schoar-Athlete team, which is the highest academic honor by the conference.
What are some of the advantages of swimming at home, rather than on the road?
There is definitely a huge advantage to swimming at home. Not only are we used to racing in our own pool, but we don't have to adapt to things such as elevation or swimming outside. Also, because our conference is so spread out, we spend a lot of time traveling to away meets. Delayed flights, long bus rides, and time changes add to the stress of traveling and can take a lot of energy out of the team. We are pretty excited to be finally swimming at home.
As a sophomore, what are some of the biggest differences from last season? Are you more comfortable and relaxed?
In all honesty, I don't think I am much more relaxed. As a freshmen, I had no idea what to expect. There was an element that was kind of scary, but everything was exciting and new so I just put it all out on the line. Now as a sophomore I feel like I know what's going on because I've experienced it before and I can use those experiences in a positive way for myself and my new teammates. That doesn't necessarily make me more comfortable, because there is also a pressure to perform as well as I did last year.
What is some of the advice that you have given the newcomers this year?
I think the biggest thing we have told the girls is to just enjoy racing the person next to you, cheer for your teammates, and get caught up in the energy of the meet. College dual meets are so different from club meets or championship meets; there is a certain energy when we are all excited and swimming well. There really is something amazing about knowing all your teammates are behind you and I think we have done a great job of supporting each other so far.
What do you do to get pumped up for the meet?
The cheer we do and talking as a team before the meet always helps me. As soon as the meet gets going and we start the "Horned Frog Relay" cheer you can feel the energy from the team. Watching my teammates swim great races really helps me get excited for my own.
What is more rewarding for you, swimming as an individual or helping the Frogs in a relay win?
Helping the Frogs in a relay win hands down, especially when it is a close relay. Swimming can be an individual sport, but it is way more special when you come together with your teammates for a great performance. You not only share your success with the three other relay members, but you represent your entire team and they are cheering for you the whole time.
Do you have any specific goals for the season individually or for the team?
I do have goals individually and for the team, but I don't want to look too far ahead just yet. The goal right now is to be ready for Saturday and beat Wyoming.