Since the arrival of Bob Bowman and his staff at Arizona State University, the program has been on the rise, both on the NCAA and international stages. A culture of expectation has been set into motion that holds athletes accountable year round, and always keeps the long course season, and post-season, in the back of their head.
Bob Bowman, long time coach of Olympic medalists Michael Phelps, Allison Schmitt, and Chase Kalisz, likes for his athletes to be of the mindset that long course is always relevant. While it starts with developing that mindset, the staff certainly makes sure their work load reflects it, typically going Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday practices long course throughout the entire year.
2016 Olympian Cierra Runge, who trained with Bowman leading up to those Olympics and will compete for the sun devils next year, expressed her satisfaction with the emphasis on long course throughout the season. The olympic gold medalist said she enjoys competing at the NCAA championships, but a big focus for her swimming is set on the international stage. Runge admitted that her turns can be one weak spot for her, so she’s glad that there is a good amount of technique even when the team is training long course, so that her long course work can still translate to her short course performances, and vice versa.
Sun devil newcomer Grant House shared the sentiments of his teammate and coaching staff. He enjoys that while ASU does put a heavy emphasis on the NCAA championships, in the bigger picture of a season it is seen as a stepping stone towards what one might accomplish at the end of the summer, be it at a national or international stage.