Junior Erik Bostrom.
This past weekend, the Hopkins men’s and women’s swim teams hosted the Blue Jay Invitational, their last home meet of the season. The Blue Jays performed strongly across the board, breaking 16 pool records in total.
For the men, senior Mark Wilson, juniors Emile Kuyl and Peter Lazorchak and sophomore Brandon Fabian shattered a 14-year-old pool record in the 400 Medley.
Additionally, Kuyl’s split of 49.32 broke the record for the 100 Back.
Wilson later broke the 100 Fly pool record, which was previously set by four-time NCAA Champion Matt Johnson, finishing the race in an impressive 50.04 seconds.
In the 800 Free Relay, juniors Michael Wohl and Alex Carson and freshmen Matt McGough and Noah Frassrand broke a 10-year-old pool record with a time of 6:55.04.
For the women, senior Courtney Cowan started the weekend by breaking a pool record that stood untouched for 43 years. Cowan swam the 500 Free in 4:57.17, which is the 10th fastest time in school history.
Sophomore Michelle Wang followed that up by setting the new record for the 200 IM, finishing in 2:05.73.
In the 400 Medley, seniors Kaitlin Jones, Anna Wisniewski and Cowan, along with junior Natalia Rincon, beat the old pool record by more than 10 seconds.
Though many swimmers performed well over the weekend, junior Erik Bostrom is certainly deserving of this week’s Athlete of the Week.
Bostrom has proven his dominance throughout the season. Two weeks ago, at Carnegie Mellon University, Bostrom finished second in both the 500 Free and the 1000 Free. These placements were enough for CollegeSwimming.com to name him their Independent Swimmer of the Week.
In the Newton White Aquatic Center at Hopkins this past weekend, Bostrom placed third in the 200 Fly.
He followed that up with a first-place finish in the 500 Free, finishing with a time of 4:40.53.
Bostrom sat down with The News-Letter following his strong performances to discuss how the season has been going thus far, as well as his expectations going forward, both for him and the team as they move toward the end of the 2017-2018 season.
The News-Letter: How has the process of adapting to a new coaching system been for you and the team, particularly with the end of former Head Coach George Kennedy’s tenure?
Erik Bostrom: The new system is just as great as the old one. Our coach, Scott [Armstrong], was a swimmer at Hopkins and has coached a bunch of fantastic swimmers. So, when he took over last year, he knew exactly what we needed to do.
The practice format has definitely changed, and we are trying a lot of great new stuff like IKKOS (virtual reality headsets used to practice technique). Most importantly, though, the team dynamic has been super strong under both coaches, letting us really push each other to be the best versions of ourselves.
N-L: How does it feel to have been named Independent Swimmer of the Week by CollegeSwimming.com?
EB: It feels fantastic. I honestly had no clue I would have been named Independent Swimmer of the Week. When Scott told me during practice, I was super surprised.
N-L: How have you developed as a swimmer since you arrived at Hopkins?
EB: Just like every swimmer, I have had my ups and downs, but in the last year, I have really started to focus on the little things at practice so that they can transfer over into races.
Focusing on the process rather than the time, I think, has really helped me develop into a better swimmer.
N-L: How do you feel about your performance this year so far?
EB: I have been pretty satisfied so far this year and was super pumped at our midseason meet at Princeton when I broke the four-minute barrier in the 400 IM, which I have been trying to do for a long time.
N-L: What are your personal goals for the rest of the season?
EB: I want to keep working on the little things in my races, like my walls and breakouts, and if I get better at those, I think it will really pay off in my races. I’m looking forward to this weekend and hope to put up some fast times in at our meet at UNC.
N-L: Hopkins had a great performance last weekend, with several swimmers breaking pool records. What are your expectations for the team going forward?
EB: Last weekend was super exciting and fun. It’s awesome watching friends who have worked hard throughout the season have their work pay off. Seeing how fast people can go untapped, I think this team is on path for some really fast swimming as championships roll around.
Bostrom and the Jays will compete in the pool again on Friday, Feb. 2 at the Nike Invitational in Chapel Hill, N.C.