All-Around Swimmer Bollier A Workhorse For Cardinal

By Ann Killion
Stanford's Bobby Bollier swims a lot of events. It doesn't bother him. He doesn't crumble under the pressure. He doesn't panic. He just swims.

"You don't get many guys like that," said Stanford assistant coach Ted Knapp. "There are a lot of one or two event swimmers. But Bobby is good for three, and even four or five events. There's not a lot of drama with him. He's not someone you need to babysit."

The junior swimmer from Mission Hills, Kan., likes diversity. He grew up swimming for the elite Kansas City Blazers, which gave him a great skill set and training background.

But Bollier said he was getting close to burning out in high school

"Now I'm having fun," he said. "[Doing] the same program wears on me. It's good to change things up."

By doing a variety of events - the 200 butterfly, which he calls "my baby," middle distance freestyle, the occasional IM - Bollier keeps things fresh.

"College swimming makes the sport fun again," he said. "It raises the stakes. You're training for little short term goals alongside long term goals."

But Bollier is interested in expanding his efforts beyond college swimming. Last summer, he trained in Fullerton with [former Michigan coach] Jon Urbanchek at FAST, the Fullerton Aquatics Sports Team that was recently named a U.S. Olympic Committee professional and post-grad training center. In December Bollier competed against an elite international field at the short course World Championships in Dubai, which he said helped him grow as a swimmer.

The son of two physicians - whose mother Barbara is now a Kansas state representative - Bollier is an engineering major, eyeing a career in mechanical engineering. He calls school a priority and may take a fifth year in order to spread out his classes.

He figures to be busy in the pool in the coming year. Bollier has one more year of Stanford eligibility and will also be aiming for the 2012 Olympic trials.

"He's certainly a contender to make the [Olympic team]," Knapp said.

But for the short term, Bollier will be focusing on helping Stanford succeed, first at the Pac-10 Championships in Washington and then at the NCAA Championships in Austin, Texas, in March. Hopes are high for the Stanford team, which - Bollier included - suffered from a gastrointestinal sickness at last year's NCAA Championships.

Knapp isn't sure yet what events Bollier will be swimming in the championships because he has so many options.

"We'll use him in multiple ways," Knapp said. "He's a real workhorse. He's a big, big part of our team."

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