Student-Athlete of the Week

Feb. 13, 2012

Laramie, Wyo. -

Athlete of the Week



Shelly Bull


What got you interested in swimming?
I first got into swimming because my older brother swam competitively and so I was always around the pool. Due to this, my mom wanted me to learn how to swim so I would not drown at a swim meet. After a few swim lessons, I decided to take it to the next level.

How long have you been competing?
I have been competitively swimming since I was six years old; I am currently 21.

What made you choose freestyle?
I didn't make a conscious effort to choose freestyle as my stroke; I guess it just worked out that way.

Who is your support? And how do they help you?
My parents and my brother have always been there for me. No matter what the situation or how hard things might be, they are always there with support and love helping me make it through.

How are college meets different than high school ones?
They are definitely much more competitive. Once you are on a Division I athletic team, it becomes much more about the team then about a single person. It is about the university you represent and winning for that school. It is more about pride and love than anything else.

What are you studying at the university?
I am a communications major.

How do you balance school and swimming?
It is difficult, but it is possible. You learn how to manage your time better than you could ever imagine. The life of a swimmer is much different from a normal college student, but it is possible. You get used to living life in a daze.

What is a typical day like for you?
Practice in the morning for two hours, class all day, weights and more swimming in the afternoon. After that, dinner, homework and sleep. Not much differs from day to day.

How does your team help you stay competitive?
Even though we are a close-knit team, swimming is a pretty individual sport within itself. Because of this, you are always looking to improve within yourself and try to prove to yourself that you are better than you previously believed.

How often do you travel?
It depends on the semester, but we normally travel every weekend to every other weekend. If we do not have a travel meet, we are competing at home.

What has been your favorite meet to compete in so far? Why?
The past few years, we have traveled to an invitational in Texas. It is a really competitive meet and it is fun to get out of Laramie and get some good racing time in.

What will you miss most about the program?
Without a doubt the team, the memories that are formed over four years will never disappear. These people become your family and that will never go away.

What goals do you wish to accomplish before leaving UW?
I want to make an impression that no one will ever forget, and to feel proud of my team and never regret anything. This experience has formed me as a person and has affected my view on my future life. Knowing this, I can honestly say that the success that I have had over the four years here at UW is all that I can ask for.