CSUB swimmer wins 4 national titles


By Johnathan Wheatley

Sports Editor


Most students during the summer return home or find a job and work. Sophomore swimmer Kris Rogic who calls Zagreb, Croatia home, returned to his native country of Croatia this past July to compete in the Croatian National Championships.

He didn’t just compete but took home some hardware too. He didn’t win just once, or twice, or even three times. Rogic won four different national titles in Croatia and even a third place to add on to his already resume at the championships.

It was a complete sweep for Rogic in the individual events: 50-meter backstroke, 100- meter backstroke, 200-meter backstroke, 200-meter individual medley. Rogic also didn’t know which events he was swimming in until a couple weeks before the event.

For the 400-meter medley relay his team finished in third place.

Last year the swimming coaches didn’t know what kind of swimmer Rogic was. They couldn’t concentrate on just one event, which according to Hansen is a nice thing. The coaches then figured out he was a backstroke event swimmer.

Rogic has been training for this moment his whole life, and with the help from his mother he got into swimming.

A lot of times we hear that moms always know what’s best for their children and for Rogic, his mother putting him into swimming seems to be the right choice.

“My mom had me join swimming around five or six years old because she was afraid I might get hurt playing other sports,” said Rogic.

Rogic won his individual events with the posted times of: 50-meter backstroke (26.29), 100- meter backstroke (56.10), 200-meter backstroke (2:04.12) and 200-meter individual medley (2:05.21).

“I thought he was going swim fast, but I don’t think either of us expected him to swim that fast,” said director of swimming Chris Hansen.

Rogic can represent Croatia at the world championship in South Korea if he can trim his 56.10 seconds in the 100-meter backstorke to 55.8 seconds, according to Hansen. He would need to get that time by next May if he wants to represent Croatia.

“In January we will head to Knoxville and go to the TYR pro series and then go to one in April in Richmond,” said Hansen on places Rogic can get the 55.8.

The events Rogic swam in are all long pool, meaning a 50-meter pool.

Before coming over from Croatia, Rogic used to swim in the 50-meter pool, but since coming to CSUB he has had to train in a 25-yard pool.

“We’re going to have to turn the pool around to train for the 100-meter backstroke,” said Hansen.

For Rogic to properly train, they must go from the short 25-yard distance of the pool to the 50-meter long distance of the pool so that he can get his strokes and turns timed perfectly.

The 100-meter backstroke will be the only event Rogic will try to represent Croatia in. The other events had too much of a time gap for him to represent his country.

Being from Croatia, Rogic’s training has been quite different at CSUB then what he is used to.

“He [Rogic] immensely disliked our dry land activates from running to med ball stuff,” said Hansen when Rogic first came to CSUB. “He actually smiles when we do dry land now and doesn’t come in last on the runs”.

Rogic’s favorite workout out of the pool is boxing and when working in the pool he likes to do cord workouts.

Hansen has a plan for Rogic to begin next year for training in hopes of qualifying for the world championships.

“We are going to rest and save for conference and then rest and save for NCAA’s or NIC’s”.

Rogic has already made the U.S. Nationals, which he will be attending next august.

The fall swim season has started for CSUB swimming & diving and Rogic is already in on the podium.

At the CSUB sprint classic Rogic posted a 22.99 50-yard backstroke and took first place in the event. He also led the Roadrunners to a second-place finish in the 800-yard freestyle relay.

This season, while training for the national championships and competing for CSUB, Rogic just wants to have fun.

“I want conference to be fun and want as many teammates to be happy with what they did and gave their best,” said Rogic.