BERKELEY - CalBears.com caught up with alumna Lauren Boyle after the New Zealand star completed the recent FINA World Cup meet in Berlin. The former Golden Bear posted seven top three finishes in her last three meets, including the World Championships and FINA World Cup stops in the Netherlands and Germany. A veteran of international competition, Boyle also swam in the 2008 and 2012 Summer Olympic Games. Boyle, who swam at Cal from 2007-10, was a six-time All-American and still holds school records in the 1000- and 1650-yard freestyles.
CalBears.com: Heading into the World Championships, did you suspect you were going to be successful there as well as in the World Cup meets?
Lauren Boyle: I had a rocky preparation because my coach resigned in January, so I didn't have a coach until a few weeks before we left for our European campaign. I really had no idea how my racing was going to go.
CalBears.com: You have done well throughout your career in the middle-distance freestyles, and you won bronze in the 400 and 800 frees at the World Championships. How surprised were you to win bronze in the 1500 free at worlds?
LB: I was very surprised. I was unsure about entering the event, as I thought it might tire me out too much for the 800 free at the end of the competition. In hindsight I am glad I decided to swim it! I was always strong in the mile when I swam at Cal, and I think having the experience of racing it collegiately helped me.
CalBears.com: You've a veteran Olympian and seem to break New Zealand national records (usually your own) almost every swim. How proud are you for being one of the faces of New Zealand swimming over the last several years?
LB: I'm happy that I have continued to improve and made sure that my results have been relatively consistent. I'm proud that I have had a long journey through my sport of swimming and that I am still learning new things and figuring out how to use them when I race. It's an honor to represent my country successfully.
CalBears.com: You receive world-class training back home, but do you still attribute some of your success to Cal head coach Teri McKeever and your time in Berkeley?
LB: I don't think I would be swimming right now if I hadn't had my experience at Cal. I learned so much from Teri and am so grateful to have been a part of the excellent environment she has created.
CalBears.com: How many more Olympics do you want to swim in?
LB: I'm not sure yet.
CalBears.com: After this long stretch of intense competition, what are you going to do to relax, and when do you return to New Zealand for training?
LB: Right now I'm in Berlin having a holiday and catching up with friends from all over the world. I have a few more days here and then I'll head home to get some good rest and relaxation before resuming training in a couple of weeks.