Bob Bowman’s Pro Group Training Once Per Day At ASU

Arizona State University head coach Bob Bowman has already been vocal about how he feels about postponing the 2020 Olympic Games. “It would take a lot of pressure off,” he told the Associated Press earlier this week.

But as swimmers and coaches scramble to find training space with both the US Olympic Trials and the 2020 Games in Tokyo still scheduled to run on time, Bowman has managed to have his small group of professionals train once per day at ASU’s Mona Plummer Aquatic Center.

“We’re giving up a few practices, but we felt it was best to minimize how many times they go,” Bowman told the Arizona Republic, as typically leading up the Olympics the athletes would have doubles three days a week.

The group includes eight-time Olympic medalist Allison Schmitt, 2016 Olympian Hali Flickinger, South African Olympic finalist Brad Tandy, Giles Smith and Payton Sorenson.

Schmitt has trained under Bowman for the majority of her career — other than when she went to college at the University of Georgia — which included taking a redshirt in the lead-up to the 2012 Games in London where she went on to win three gold and five total medals, including an individual title in the women’s 200 free.

Flickinger, also a former Bulldog, only recently made the move to train with Bowman at ASU after last summer’s World Championships. The 25-year-old was the silver medalist at the 2019 World Championships in the women’s 200 fly, and is the fastest swimmer in the world in the event since the beginning of 2019.

On the other end of the spectrum are Bowman’s college swimmers at ASU, who aren’t allowed to train due to the coronavirus pandemic and restrictions from both the university and the Pac-12. The team has a total of 17 athletes qualified for the US Trials, scheduled to run June 21-28 in Omaha.

“It’s very testing when it comes to your adaptability as an athlete,” said Sun Devil senior and 2016 Olympian Cierra Runge. “You have a routine, you know what you need to do. To not have that is very boring, not having training five hours a day. It’s not comfortable.

“I’ll have that urge to do something and it’s like OK what can I do to keep myself entertained and in shape and in the running for the Games if they have them. You’ve got to keep everything going while having very limited resources.”

In This Story

Leave a Reply

22 Comment threads
63 Thread replies
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
48 Comment authors
newest oldest most voted

Phelps too? Phelps is very good contitions just like before RIO.


He’s retired homie


Let’s say US Olympic Trials are not cancelled and the 2020 Olympics remain on schedule, it’s going to be VERY CLEAR which athletes were privileged with pool access and which were not.


I am sure Bob would find a lane for anyone who could compete for a medal in Tokyo, as all the folks listed can. It has nothing to do with privilege


@GATOR That means the top 16 US swimmers for each event should go to ASU to train. We don’t know who will make the US team until Trials, which is why we have an OT meet.


The solution is a lot more random than that, but conceptually that sounds good if done safely per CDC guidelines. OT is still 3 months away, but looks very tenuous at this point. The fact is it hasn’t been cancelled yet.


Exactly, it has not been cancelled yet. Meanwhile, some top athletes have access to pools and others do not. Some areas have zero pools open, and elite swimmers are home doing dryland only. Idc who you are, dryland, running, weights will never be an equal substitute for regular training in the pool. This is not sustainable preparation for the biggest meet of the quadrennial.


I would suggest they haven’t looked hard enough. For example, drive to another state and pitch a tent. If you are near the ocean it is still accessible.


Most beaches are closed too- have been for days now.


*but not all of them.
See Michael Andrew article on this site recently on surfing. Also, just because the state beach parking lots are closed doesn’t mean accessing beach is prohibited. Authorities are patrolling to make sure no gatherings >10 people. Use common sense.

Swimmer A

Gator – common sense would be just postponing the games


Some states are on complete lockdown. Not able to drive anywhere at all. It’s literally impossible to swim for many people.

There are no states in the U.S. where residents are “not able to drive anywhere at all.”


ASU will not allow outsiders on the campus. This is from the university, as Bob would have opened his doors if he could.


That’s nice and all that he’s willing to share. I think the point of most comments is that we ALL need to practice social responsibility, regardless of who you are. This is not about who has a pool and who does not. Do you really think most of us enjoy being stuck at home? No. As a big figure in the world of swimming, he is not setting a good example. Some states are on lockdown now. Highly doubt if you get stopped by police that they would be sympathetic to your pleas to go to swim practice…. There are bigger things than swimming in life. Look at all the people who are now filing for unemployment or those whose… Read more »


every coach will do what they can to advise, i’m sure, because that’s the kind of people they are. If there is a way, they are the best resource to find opportunities to swim.


what do you think privilege means?

Justin Thompson's

I’m not sure privilege has anything to do with it otherwise all elite athletes/ medal contenders would be training. Privilege usually is attached with wealth and resources. Are we to believe that ASU is more privileged than other clubs that have shut down?


“Privilege is attached to wealth or resources”. Isn’t having a pool to train in a resource?


yes, ASU is privileged in this regard. I don’t really understand how you could argue otherwise or why you would even want to…


If the college swimmers are seniors why wouldn’t they be able to train as pros? Their college careers are over, is it something to do with scholarships?


Because evidently the coach wants to minimize social interactions and is giving preference to the pros.


I have same question. Why couldn’t Ciera train with that group?


I think she is training with the group. I think she was just speaking to the decreased practice time. At least that’s how I read that


Her name wasn’t listed in article


Because she is still a student-athlete until academic year ends.

About James Sutherland

James Sutherland

James swam five years at Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario, specializing in the 200 free, back and IM. He finished up his collegiate swimming career in 2018, graduating with a bachelor's degree in economics. In 2019 he completed his graduate degree in sports journalism. Prior to going to Laurentian, James swam …

Read More »

Want to take your swimfandom to the next level?

Subscribe to SwimSwam Magazine!