Swim prodigee dominates pool

Freshman Rowan Cox helps lead swim team through district competition

A+competitive+swimmer+for+much+of+his+life%2C+Cox+competes+for+a+club+swim+team+and+the+Bowie+team.

Photo by Nick Wood and Courtesy of Rowan Cox, Graphic by Dimitri Silva

A competitive swimmer for much of his life, Cox competes for a club swim team and the Bowie team.

Ben Tillisch, Sports Editor

25 yards in length, the average competitive swimming pool is subjected to an abundance of skillful swimmers. However, since the age of five, freshman Rowan Cox has transformed the pool into his domain. His name synonymous with dominance throughout the swim world, Cox thrives in his domain, driving through the pool at a seemingly unmatchable pace. 

A former Junior Nationals attendee, Cox has had an immediate impact on the Bowie swim team during his brief high school career, having been the victor of multiple competitions. Senior captain Norah Cullicott discusses Cox’s positive attitude and influence on the rest of the squad. 

“Everyone knows who he is,” Cullicott said. “He’s a big name in the swimming world in general, but he’s very humble about that, which is always nice to have, so he’s kind of just like a little extra added bonus. When you’re swimming with fast people, you swim fast, and he’s able to provide that extra energy in relays for the team, and everyone kind of builds off that energy.”

Awakened in the early mornings by a blaring alarm clock reminding him to get to the pool, Cox’s talent has developed due to his unwavering dedication to improvement. Cox has made immense sacrifices to perfect his art by waking up early for Bowie practice and getting home late because of club practice. Cox gives insight on the difference of degree between club and school practice. 

“I think that swimming has probably helped me a lot with my work ethic,” Cox said. “When I swim I want to get something done so I just get up early and do it. I think it’s translated pretty well to my school work and my life outside of swimming.”

According to junior diver Anabel Vohl, Cox’s work ethic is contagious, for the freshman has motivated the rest of the team to improve. Vohl mentioned that his motivation goes beyond his skill level though, as he constantly has a positive mindset and commitment to get better. 

Swimming has helped me a lot with my work ethic. When I swim, I want to get something done, so I just get up early and do it.”

— Rowan Cox, Freshman Swimmer

“It’s obviously super nice to have a swimmer of his caliber and his humility and dedication is definitely a bonus,” Vohl said. “When he first joined the team he was so interested in getting better every single day and I think that rubbed off on the rest of the team.”

Additionally, Vohl talks about the relationship between the swim and dive team. Vohl claims that in the short time he has been on the team, Cox has helped bring the team together. 

“The swim team is very close as it is, and [Cox] has definitely strengthened that bond,” Vohl said. “It can be difficult to wake up early every day and go to practice but his attitude has been very beneficial to the team. He pushes people to get better and is always very encouraging, so his impact has definitely extended beyond his personal skill.”

A multi-layered swimmer, Cox participates in many events requiring traits and abilities. He gives insight on certain characteristics needed for different races and describes the mental and physical strength it takes to compete and train at the highest level.

“Swim is mostly cardio, so you need a lot of stamina for longer races and strength for power in shorter events,” Cox said. “Practices and events challenge your brain into thinking you can’t do it, but part of swimming is getting past that mental block and getting to your goals.”

A competitive swimmer for much of his life, Cox competes for a club swim team and the Bowie team. Waking up early for Bowie practice and getting home late because of club practice, Cox has made immense sacrifices in order to perfect his art. Cox gives insight on the difference of degree between club and school practice. 

“Club practices are definitely harder because it’s all people who solely swim or it’s their main sport versus our [Bowie] team has a lot of people who swim for exercise or for their second sport cross-training,” Cox said. “At club, we focus more on technique and the elements of swimming, whereas it’s just getting some basic stuff down at high school practices.” 

It’s easy to get discouraged, but I think Rowan has the mindset to work through that and continue to improve. ”

— Norah Cullicott, Senior swim captain

As a captain, Cullicott is responsible for setting the standard and leading the underclassmen. Despite Cullicott spending only a short time with Cox, the captain praises Rowan’s mindset and advises the freshman to maintain his humble persona and positive outlook on swimming in order to continue dominating the pool.

“Especially with guys in swimming you grow more muscle and your speed shoots up but then it starts to plateau,” Cullicott said. “If you don’t see those time drops like you’re used to it’s easy to get discouraged and not want to go to practice or try hard, but I think Rowan has the mindset to work through that and continue to improve.” 

Despite his undeniable talent and potential ability to compete at desirable stages, Cox finds enjoyment in swimming and portrays the friendships that have stemmed from his swimming career. 

“My favorite part about swimming is getting to do it with all of my friends,” Cox said. “I just like having people that I share similar hobbies and interests with that I can have fun with and do what I like.”