Splash - May/June 2012 - (Page 24)

BeveRLy sCHaeFeR/PRinCeton atHLetiC CommUniCations lisA boYcE FoRREst DAvis FiLe by Mike Gustafson ERic KNiGHt The RANK ANd O ver 1500 swimmers will compete at the 2012 U.s. olympic team trials. For every event, there are hundreds of stories and backgrounds and journeys we don’t hear about – swimmers who are not the “A-Listers” expecting an Olympic berth. Swimmers competing just for the honor of competing at the most prestigious meet held in this country every four years. They are the backbone of USA Swimming: Athletes who swim because they love it, and can’t imagine doing anything else. Here’s a quick look at some of these “Rank and File” swimmers – names competing at the Olympic Trials you may not know, and a few of their stories. lisA boYcE JoE pAscAlE Standing at a whopping 6 feet, 7 inches, Eric went from a “no-experience” high schooler to Olympic Trials qualifier in just a few years. A late bloomer now swimming at SwimMAC Carolina under David Marsh, the George Mason graduate plans to compete in the breaststroke events, and hopes to make it back to the semifinals. “I’m training harder than I ever have. I push to failure. I’m in this 100 percent. I’ve got a long way to go to catch the guys on that team. I just want to make it back. I want a semifinal. The Olympic team is a top two finish, which would be wonderful. But I have to be realistic. My goal is to make it back to semifinals. That alone is a huge resume booster. ‘Semifinal at Olympic Trials’ – even to someone who doesn’t understand swimming, that’s an accomplishment.” Joe swam at Auburn University, and after school, found himself in the crazy, topsyturvy world of Mixed Martial Arts fighting. After having his “face mauled,” he decided to return to the world of swimming to fulfill his dream of swimming at the Olympic Trials. He swims the sprint events, trains at Curl-Burke, and people will recognize him for his really long beard, which he’s named “Papa Legba.” “I don’t want to ever think that I’ve overcome anything. That gives me more fuel. I still think I’m a slouch. So the day I think, ‘I’m the best,’ is the day I’m probably not working that hard. I always want to keep that in mind. I remind myself, ‘You’re nothing. You’re just another geek on the street.’ And all the cockiness, that’s where Papa Legba comes from.” Imagine going to the most prestigious universities in the world, and competing in competitive NCAA Division I Swimming. Sound tough? Meet 18-year-old Lisa Boyce, an Illinois native, who now competes for Princeton University. She will race in the 100 backstroke and 100 freestyle, and somehow, still manages to be among the best student-athletes in the country. “It’s important to have a balance. When I was looking at schools, I picked schools that were strong academically and in terms of swimming. Just making sure that both aspects are covered. Like I said, I picked a place where I would be happy just going to school, even if for some reason I couldn’t swim. Because at some point, there will be a life beyond swimming. I wanted to be prepared for that. You have to like both aspects – school and swimming. I wouldn’t pick a school just for the swimming. I would make sure there is some balance, if that’s going to be your focus.” 24 splAsH • May/June 2012 • The TRIALS ISSue

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Splash - May/June 2012

Splash - May/June 2012
Contents
About Trials...
Mike Gustafson
Swim Briefs/Justin Case
Top Ten Tweets/Point-Counterpoint
Keys to Success
Training With
Athletic Foodie
Olympic Trials Preview
The Swimmers
Rank & File
Third Is No Charm
Repeat Performance
Trials Pressures
Behind the Scenes
The Venue
Alex Meyer
Making the Team
Interactive
Swim Nut Zeke
Ultimate Pump-Up Song
Best Race Ever
America’s Swim Team Athletes

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