June 3, 2010
BERKELEY - Lauren Boyle is one of nine current or former California swimmers heading to Europe to compete in the Mare Nostrum trio of meets this month. Erstwhile Golden Bears Natalie Coughlin and Dana Vollmer join returners Amanda Sims, Hannah Wilson, Sara Isakovic, Erica Dagg, Liv Jensen and Caitlin Leverenz as the other eight who will swim in the Monaco (June 5-6), Barcelona (June 9-10) and Canet en Rouissillon, France, (June 12-13) meets.
For more Mare Nostrum information, please visit the website http://www.marenostrumswim.com/general.php.
Boyle is the only one of the nine who completed her Cal career at the 2010 NCAA Championships last March. A product of Whenuapai, near Auckland in New Zealand, the long-distance star won the 500-yard freestyle at the Pac-10 Championships in February and claimed three All-America honors (500 and 1650 frees and 800-free relay) and one All-America honorable mention (200-free relay) at NCAAs.
More recently, she was named to the ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District 8 team.
She is preparing to swim in the Pan Pacific Games, which runs from Aug. 18-22 in Irvine, Calif., and she will also represent her country in the Commonwealth Games in October in New Delhi.
"I'm really excited about that," said Boyle, who has never been to India.
She has competed in the 2008 Olympics and 2005 and 2007 World Championships for her country. In the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne, Boyle won a bronze medal as a member of her New Zealand's 4x200-meter freestyle relay.
Still a senior, the business administration major hasn't graduated. She joined the Bears halfway through the 2006-07 season and thus has one semester to go.
For the time being, she will train in Berkeley with her former teammates and Cal head coach Teri McKeever, who will also serve as the U.S. coach at Pan Pacs.
"I'll stay here and train with Teri because it's the best place for me to train," Boyle said. "Rather than just coaching a swimmer, I feel that Teri is good at rounding individuals and more accomplished people. Being a part of the program makes you understand and appreciate this sport more. You understand the intricacies that most people don't think about. I think I'm a different swimmer because I appreciate and know more about the sport.
"Having the collegiate swimming experience was the most valuable thing I could do for myself as a swimmer."
She has high expectations for her now former team's 2010-11 season.
"It's going to be exciting next year," Boyle said. "Losing the seniors this year, that took a lot away from the team. We were able to step it up at NCAAs as a class. With 9-10 newcomers, the team will be incredibly talented. Ten new people contributing to the team with only six people leaving is definitely going to make the team better, and I think if we can integrate those people right way, we could be really successful next year."