Bogard earns All-America swimming status |

Bogard earns All-America swimming status

Matt O'Neill

The pinnacle of any collegiate athlete’s career is competing for a national championship and being named to the All-America team.

Denise Bogard achieved it all in her freshman season.

As a University of California, San Diego swimmer, Bogard went with the Tritons to the NCAA Division II National Championships March 16-18 in Canton, Ohio.

She swam to All-America status in both the 100 and 200 breaststroke by finishing sixth in the 100 and seventh in the 200.

“I really expected to do well in the 100, but the 200 was a surprise because I was seeded last,” Bogard said.

Seeded last or not, the freshman completed the 200 in 2 minutes, 23.10 seconds, fast enough to earn All-America.

But she wasn’t finished. The former South Tahoe Viking turned right around and finished the 100 in 1:05.24.

She also competed in the 200 individual medley, finishing 13th (2:11.79).

Her performances at the championships surprised Bogard somewhat, despite a very successful prep career.

“I never really had that strong a season with as much training and traveling as we did this year,” she said.

The Tritons, as a team, were new to the championships as well. Competing in Division II for the first time, the team had a great showing by finishing third overall.

“That was definitely our goal, especially because no one knew who we were,” Bogard said. “I think we kind of intimidated some schools because we’d come into the pool walking together as a team.

“Our team cheers a lot, which helps a lot when you are making the turn and hear everyone cheering you on.”

Although Bogard did reach high standards in her first season, she is not going to rest on her laurels for the next three years.

“I’d like to improve my 200 IM time,” she said. “I’ve always been better at the breast, but overall, I’m very happy with my swimming.”

Her first championship did open her eyes, however.

“I was so nervous. I didn’t even eat breakfast that day and I still felt like I was going to throw up the whole day,” Bogard said.

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