Becker lives up to “Most Improved” title

The sophomore took home five first place finishes as a rookie and is coming off of two recent national wins.

Alyssa Hodenfield

Bowe Becker has been a standout swimmer in the sprint department this season, and can’t see himself peaking anytime soon.

It’s no surprise that the sophomore was named “Most Improved,” by his teammates last season, and he still says there’s more room for improvement in his second season with the Gophers.

“I just always want more. I’m always hungry for more,” Becker said.

Becker grabbed five first place finishes as a freshman, but has shifted his focus to new details this year.

“I’ve been working a lot on my underwaters,” Becker said. “I’ve noticed that I have probably a better stroke than most people do, and I can swim faster, but in the details I lose some of the speed.”

Head coach Kelly Kremer said he discovered Becker while he was in in Las Vegas, Nevada, recruiting another student. Becker said he had not been recruited by any other colleges, but Kremer noticed his talent.

“I saw him do a little bit of varied sprinting, and when he went from slow swimming to fast swimming he looked different,” Kremer said. “He looked like an athlete I wanted to get to know.”

The Las Vegas native said once he came on his recruiting trip to the University of Minnesota there was no turning back, and that he’s loved Minnesota ever since.

Becker took home two individual titles at the AT&T Winter Nationals meet in December in the 50 and 100 freestyle races. His 100 freestyle time of 42.87 was one of the best in Minnesota history.

The sophomore defeated Olympian Tom Shields in the 50-yard event.

“I’m just ready to go fast and see what I can do when I fully rest, because I wasn’t even fully rested for that [meet].” Becker said of Winter Nationals.

Becker’s unyielding work ethic has paid off for him in competition, and Kremer said that quality, along with his taking to coaching well, plays a large part in his success.

“That’s a real trademark of an elite athlete, or really someone who’s great at anything they do,” Kremer said. “That’s true for Bowe. He wants to be better and that’s a quality that’s good for him and great for the team, because that sort of attitude is contagious.”

The Triple Dual this weekend against Purdue and Northwestern and the Minnesota Challenge next weekend are the teams’ last conference meets before the Big Ten Championships on Feb. 22.

The teams last competed in Denver against Denver and Wyoming and won both dual meets despite tough circumstances on an overnight flight.

“Now we’ve got our feet back on the ground, and this is a Big Ten dual with two quality Big Ten teams,” Kremer said. “This will be a nice last opportunity to compete and fine tune. I just want to see us perform well across the board and gain some confidence going into our rest.”