Palo Alto Weekly

Sports - June 7, 2013

Stanford grad Godsoe is back enjoying swimming

Solid efforts at Arena Grand Prix at Santa Clara meet gives former All-American a bright outlook for the summer

by Rick Eymer

Eugene Godsoe returned to Stanford to help put the fun back into swimming. Being able to reconnect with former Cardinal teammates and others in the Stanford community was a bonus.

His life and swimming career on the upswing, the 25-year-old former NCAA champion seems to have a balanced perspective about life.

Godsoe added a third-place finish in the 100 back (an event in which he won his NCAA title in 2010) on Sunday to his weekend at the Arena Grand Prix at Santa Clara, a meet that featured most of the top American swimmers. He was fourth in the 100-meter fly on Saturday at the George F. Haines International Swim Center.

"My whole career has been a series of ups and downs," Godsoe said. "I've grown to use that as motivation. I had a bad freshman year at Stanford but that became the avenue toward the NCAA title as a senior."

He swam 54.69 in Sunday's championship race, just behind the shared winning time of 54.47 produced by American Olympian Matt Grevers and Russian Olympian Arkady Vyatchanin.

"We're a month out from the world trials and more than times I was more interested in seeing where I am," Godsoe said. "Training has been consistent and that has been paying off. I'm seeing improvement month by month."

Godsoe, who spent two years training at Swim MAC in Charlotte following graduation, has his sights on a possible berth in the World Championships. He has to finish among the top two at the U.S. National Championships, which begin June 25 in Indianapolis.

"I had a good 2012 but I knew I had more in me," Godsoe said. "Swimming was 24/7 there and now I do a lot of things that are exciting to me. Now only can I immerse myself in the sport, I can immerse myself in Silicon Valley and reunite with friends with start-up companies."

He also became part of a group of Stanford grads who formed their own post-grad swim group through Stanford swimming and Palo Alto Stanford Aquatics.

That group also includes Chad La Tourette, Bobby Bollier, BJ Johnson and Jason Dunford, all of whom competed in Santa Clara over the weekend and swam in an 'A' final.

"It's an elite group who has a strong desire to improve and get to the next level," Godsoe said.

La Tourette finished third in the 1,500 free in 15:28.22, Bollier was sixth in the 200 fly with a time of 2:00.00, just behind Stanford freshman and Sacred Heart Prep grad Tom Kremer's time of 1:59.91, and Johnson was seventh in the 100 breast in 1:02.65.

Dunford, who represented Kenya in the last Olympic Games, finished third in the 100 fly on Friday, swimming a 52.69. Godsoe was right behind in 52.85.

Johnson, whose best events are in the breaststroke, "has really developed" Godsoe said.

La Tourette, an eight-time All-American, won the 2010 NCAA title in the 1,650 free and holds the Stanford record in the event. Bollier is a 14-time All-American and finished as an NCAA runner-up in the 200 fly in 2011. He's also an assistant swim coach at Menlo-Atherton High.

Bollier and La Tourette each finished third in their respective events at last year's United States Olympic Trials, just missing a chance to swim in the Olympics.

"It's still fun to improve," Godsoe said. "It's fun to challenge myself. I'm still learning about myself and swimming."

He's committed to swimming at least through 2014, when he will re-evaluate his expectations for the future.

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