Q & A With Senior Swimmer Kendall Bohn
Release: Wednesday 12/22/2008 
by UCSD
Kendall Bohn
Kendall Bohn
Courtesy: UCSD
The UC San Diego Women’s Swimming & Diving team is expected to be a solid threat to finish in the top three at the 2009 NCAA Division II Championships, scheduled for this March in Houston. One of the primary reasons for optimism is the return of 2008 NCAA 200 breaststroke champion Kendall Bohn. The 5-foot-5 senior clocked 2:17.71 to capture that event last spring in Columbia, MO, becoming UCSD’s latest NCAA breaststroke titlist. She joins Kelly Byrne, Sandra Lopez and Rosanna Delurgio who between them have collected nine individual breaststroke crowns since 1996. “Kendall is someone who can always be counted on when it’s needed most,” said Triton Head Coach Scott McGihon. “I think every year Kendall’s continued to mature as an athlete and a person and she’s just now starting to show her true potential, not only in the breaststroke but in other events across the board.” The Manhattan Beach (Mira Costa H.S.) native has won All-American honors in each of her first three seasons at UCSD and won both the 100 and 200 breaststroke at the 2008 Pacific Collegiate Swim Conference Championships. With the fall campaign now completed, Bohn spent time talking about her collegiate experience, the advent of her final season and the sport of swimming.

Q: Does it feel strange to know that you’re now a senior and one of the team veterans? What do you think you bring to the team in terms of leadership?
BOHN: It feels strange to know that I have been swimming for so long and it is almost over.  Being a team veteran is a different experience.  As a senior, I am more concerned with the success of the team than my individual success.  It is really exciting for me to see the new members of the team swim so well.  In terms of leadership, I feel I bring a level of experience to the team.  If the underclassmen need any help or advice, I usually have some words of wisdom for them.

Q: How do you feel about carrying on UCSD’s tradition of NCAA champion breaststrokers? Are there any future breaststroke stars on the roster?
BOHN: With the tradition of NCAA champion breaststrokers, there is definitely a lot to live up to.  It is exciting to be part of that tradition, and to encourage our future NCAA champions.  Neda Nguyen and Carrie Cunningham are very strong in the 200 breaststroke, and Sadie O’Brien is our up-and-coming breaststroke sprinter.  All three have already qualified for NCAA’s, so we are going to have our whole breaststroke crew in Houston this year.  

Q: When you’ve reached a pinnacle, like last year’s NCAA Championship victory, how do you motivate yourself going forward?
BOHN: It is very hard to continue motivating myself.  Winning an event at NCAA’s had been my goal for a long time.  After accomplishing that, I needed to re-evaluate my reasons for continuing to swim.  I am motivated by my coaches and the other breaststrokers, who push me every day in practice.  I am training really hard and swimming faster than I ever have.    

Q: What are your thoughts and habits in the final minutes leading up to a race? When you’re on the starting block?
BOHN: I have found that I swim better when I am relaxed right before a race.  It is also important for me to be focused and confident.  I try to convince myself that I am going to win, because if there is any doubt in my mind then it is hard for me to do my best.

Q: Are there different strategies in a race like the 200 breaststroke? Does it differ from race-to-race? What is yours?
BOHN: The 200 breaststroke is a hard race to strategize.  I try to stay relaxed during the first five laps, and then pick up my pace for the last three laps.  I am usually so tired by the end that I just give whatever I have left in the last lap.  

Strategies do differ from race to race, but the most important strategy in every event is to race the people around you. It pushes you and although I’m always hoping to post a good time, in big meets, place is usually more important than the time.

Q: Most people look at swimming as an individual sport. How much of a team aspect is there at the collegiate level, UC San Diego specifically?
BOHN: Swimming has a good balance between a team and an individual sport.  I have individual events where I can take full responsibility for my successes and my failures.  The team aspect of swimming is very strong during relays.  A relay team really needs to work together and feel connected to have a good swim.  Our team is very good at being supportive and cheering for each other.

Q: What are the most rewarding and most difficult parts of swimming?
BOHN: The most challenging part of swimming by far is the training.  Every day is a mental and physical struggle for me.  It is six months of intense training and an incredible time commitment.  The most rewarding parts of swimming are seeing my hard work and my sacrifice pay off.  The feeling of accomplishment is very powerful.

Q: Many top breaststrokers are much bigger, more physical than you. What allows you to beat them?
BOHN: Since I’m smaller than most of my competition, my stroke needs to be very efficient.  I focus on my turns and my underwater swimming and make sure that it is better than my competition’s.

Q: What three words would you use to describe yourself? In what ways are you a typical swimmer? In what ways atypical?
BOHN: Three words I would use to describe myself would be fun, charismatic and spontaneous.  I don’t think there is a “typical” swimmer.  Everyone on our team is very unique.

Q: What do you enjoy doing outside of swimming?
BOHN: Impersonating Britney Spears.

Q: What, if anything, scares you?
BOHN: Getting caught...

Q: You’re scheduled to graduate in June with a degree in International Studies. What are your plans after that?
BOHN: I plan to rehabilitate injured, endangered puppies and release them back into the wild while secretly trying to take over the world. Seriously, after I graduate, I’m going back home to Manhattan Beach to work as a lifeguard for the summer and thinking about traveling a little bit after that.

Long term, there are so many options available. I’ll just be waiting for the right door to open.

Previous Q & A Articles

Kelvin Kim (Men's Basketball) December 15, 2008  
Michelle Osier (Women's Basketball) December 5, 2008  
Sylvia Schmidt (Women's Volleyball) November 7, 2008 
Denny Harper (Men’s Water Polo Head Coach) October 17, 2008
Ron Larsen (USA Volleyball Assistant Coach) October 13, 2008 

Jessica McGovern (Women's Soccer) October 6, 2008


Bre Schofield (Cross Country) September 26, 2008

Tony Fernandez (Men's Soccer) September 18,2008

Kimberly Carpenter (Women's Volleyball) September 12, 2008

A.J. Kotanjian (Men’s Water Polo) September 2, 2008


Peter Akman (Men's Soccer) August 21, 2008


Natasha Belak-Berger (Women's Soccer) August 15, 2008

Jake LaVieux (Men's Cross Country) August 8, 2008


Dr. Penny Rue (Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs) July 30, 2008


Michelle Torres (Women's Volleyball) July 15, 2008


Jon Pascale (Men's Soccer Head Coach) July 1, 2008


Julie Ertel (Athletics) June 16, 2008


Clint Allard (Men's Basketball) June 9, 2008


Jen Myers (Women's Crew) May 27, 2008


Casey Ryan (Men's Track and Field and Men's Basketball) May 21, 2008


Keith Noe (Baseball) May 13, 2008


Liz LaPlante (Women's Tennis Head Coach) April 30, 2008


Sydney Gstettenbauer (Women's Water Polo) April 22, 2008


Sarah Hendy (Women's Track and Field) April 17, 2008


Eric Leserman (Men's Volleyball) April 9, 2008


Danielle Lukk (Softball) April 4, 2008


Chris Franco (Baseball) March 24, 2008


Dan Perdew (Swimming) March 18, 2008


Evan Hsiao (Swimming) March 9, 2008


Eric Rubens (Men's Tennis) February 27, 2008


Melissa Ward (Softball) February 20, 2008


Cameron Sprowles (Fencing) February 13, 2008


Kim Hockett (Women's Water Polo) February 6, 2008


Trevor Decker (Baseball) January 31, 2008


Jordan Lawley (Men's Basketball) January 23, 2008


Jason Spangler (Men's Volleyball) January 5, 2008


Andrew Skewes (Men's Diving) December 26, 2007


Alexis Gaskin (Women's Basketball) December 17, 2007


Aubrey Panis (Women's Swimming) December 2, 2007


Andrew Hatch (Men's Basketball) November 26, 2007


Kevin Klein (Men's Cross Country) November 12, 2007


Kim Adams (Women's Volleyball) November 7, 2007


Ben Miller (Men's Water Polo) October 31, 2007


Alie Avina (Women's Soccer) October 19, 2007


Charity Elliott (Women's Basketball Head Coach) October 15, 2007
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