March 9, 2011
BERKELEY - Ellie Monobe wrapped up her California swimming career by contributing to the Golden Bears' second-place finish at the Pac-10 Championships in February. CalBears.com recently caught up with the breaststroker/IMer, a San Francisco Bay Area native who hails from Fremont, Calif.
CalBears.com: What have you been up to since the Pac-10 Championships ended?
Ellie Monobe: Mostly just catching up on schoolwork, busying myself with other activities and helping the team out when they need me.
CalBears.com: The team finished second at Pac-10s and had several stellar performances. Despite not winning the overall title - Cal finished 22 points behind conference champion Stanford - how did the team feel about how it did?
EM: It was kind of a bittersweet moment. It was like, "Oh, my gosh - we got second!" But then it was, "Twenty-two points are not much." It's good especially for the underclassmen to feel that, so next year they'll want the taste of winning Pac-10s even more. It was still a very nice end to my career.
CalBears.com: How did you feel about your performances in the conference meet? You placed 19th in the 100-yard breaststroke and 21st in the 200-yard breaststroke.
EM: Individually, there were some events I thought I did pretty well in and there were some that I was kind of upset about. In the final meet for any senior, you wish you could swim your best times. Also, if I had done really well, it would've been harder to walk away. Like, "Oh, my gosh - I got so much faster. How many more times can I improve?" It was still very nice, and I was happy with how I did.
CalBears.com: What's it like for the team during this three-week period between Pac-10s and NCAAs?
EM: Three weeks might sound long. From Pac-10s to NCs, there are not a whole lot of things you can change. But little things you can tune up. You fine tune and rest more. For the swimmers, it's definitely a little break, because they can catch up on some work and get back to building up their confidence again.
CalBears.com: You won't be competing at the NCAA Championships but continue to support the team. What kinds of things do you do? You mentioned you help with coaching - is that still one of your career goals?
EM: Usually everybody that doesn't get to go to NCs helps out in some way, by going to the pool and helping them set up for a course, videotaping or just overall team support. When Teri or Kristen asks me to do anything, I'm always willing to help. Now I'm looking at it a little differently. It's helping the team but also helping me in the longer run by coaching. Hopefully next year I can assist the team more and see where that takes me.
CalBears.com: You're graduating after the 2011 fall semester. What are you doing after that?
EM: I'm applying for grad schools, to the education program here, and I'm interested in what Cal Poly offers. I major in American studies with an emphasis on education and child development. I've taken several education classes here. One of them was mostly involved with Teach for America. I've been interested in that. I'm interested in the high school age group; I don't know if I'd have the patience for younger kids.
CalBears.com: What do you do in your spare time?
EM: I like baking, though I haven't done a lot of it lately. I like to read, and a while ago I liked photography. Mostly I try to stay in touch with my teammates and see what they're up to.
CalBears.com: What was the last movie you saw?
EM: It was actually a movie for a book I just read - "The Girl Who Played With Fire."
CalBears.com: What kind of music do you like?
EM: Pretty much anything. It depends on the mood. For studying, I love listening to Jack Johnson. I can listen to Jack Johnson anytime. If we're in the weight room, it has to be more upbeat, like hip hop or dance music.
CalBears.com: What's your favorite TV show?
EM: I have a few: "The Office," "Modern Family" and I recently got into "30 Rock."