Aaron Fowler Making a Big Splash for BSU Swimming & Diving – BSU Athletics

By Jim Fenton
BRIDGEWATER, Mass. — Four meets into his Bridgewater State University men’s swimming & diving career, Aaron Fowler (Brookline, Mass.) is already a two-time school record holder.
The freshman has broken a pair of marks that were set in 1996 by Dave Cangiano, first in the 50-yard butterfly on Oct. 28 and then in the 100-yard butterfly on Nov. 10.
The impressive start is taking place not long after Fowler took a year off from swimming while a junior in high school, unsure if he would return to the pool.
It was during the 2020-21 season when Fowler took a break from his club team after swimming for a while on a competitive basis.
“I was a pretty above average swimmer when I was young,” said Fowler, who was ranked in the top 50 nationally in the 100 butterfly in the 13-14 age group. “After that, I didn’t get much faster and that’s kind of what led me to get burnt out and I ended up quitting that year.
“After that, I kind of did a lot of reflection and realized a lot of people, a lot of my friends, were getting faster than me and I couldn’t really figure out why. I was just honest with myself and asked if I was really working as hard as I could every day. I brought that mindset to practice every day (upon returning to swimming), and that’s propeled my trajectory so far.”
Fowler was part of the Brookline High School team when he came back in the 2021-22 season and won the Massachusetts Division 1 championship in the 100 butterfly in 52.05 seconds.
He took part in club swimming last year before going to college, and wound up this fall at Bridgewater State, the school where his mother, Bopha Chan, is a graduate.
“It was pretty hard getting back into swimming, honestly,” said Fowler. “I was losing a lot of motivation for the sport and wasn’t enjoying going to practice, so I just made the decision to stop.
“I was considering not swimming in college at all. I was struggling a lot. I had no direction. I was dealing with a lot of external factors around that time when I took the year off. I just decided that I haven’t been giving it my all the past few years I’ve been swimming. That final year before college, I want to do what I’m capable of.
“I think it was a very important year developmentally for me (when he was away from swimming). It definitely helped shift my mindset. I felt I was doing the same actions for years on end, so it was nice to shake that cycle. It was a little refresher.”
Fowler won the 100 butterfly and 200 freestyle in his first meet with the Bears against Division 2 Saint Michael’s on Oct. 14.
In the next meet against Clark, he set the BSU record in the 50 butterfly (22.79 besting the mark of 23.12) and was also first in the 50 freestyle, just missing Cangiano’s record. Fowler was also part of two winning relay teams.
A week later against Wheaton, Fowler placed first in the 200 individual medley, second in the 100 freestyle and third in the 200 butterfly.
The 100 butterfly record was set against Roger Williams with a time of 50.85, ahead of Cangiano’s 51.37. Fowler has been both the Little East swimmer of the week and rookie of the week twice.
“We were expecting big things, but I think not as quickly as they are showing,” said BSU coach Mike Caruso. “We did not anticipate records this fast.
“He is really surpassing things he’s done. He’s never really been this fast. He can be at an All-American level. He’s got a ton of potential. We just don’t know yet because we haven’t had him here that long. We don’t know how his body responds to rest and taper.
“He’s really good with his underwaters. His underwater kick is very strong. He’s very in tune with the feel of the water, and I think that’s just what gives him such an explosive start, such explosive turns. He can really feel the water on his body.”
Fowler did not set any goals going into his freshman season and didn’t envision breaking a pair of records nearly three decades old.
“I really didn’t have any expectations,” said Fowler. “It was a big transition going to college. The whole experience I was taking it in as I go, doing what I can, showing up to practice and just seeing what happens without really having any expectations of how it’s going to go.
“It’s fun. There’s always great energy at practice and at meets. It makes the process of training all worth it.”
Of breaking the records, Fowler said, “It feels pretty good. It’s always fun to see my teammates’ reactions. That’s what keeps me going right now. The team is very supportive. The training from the past years and going into this year are paying off and you can see the results. That’s definitely cool.”
Fowler said he learned how to swim at the age of 10 when he began taking lessons after nearly drowning in his cousin’s pool.
He joined the Charles River Aquatics club a year later after impressing his instructors and improved with each passing year.
Now he is in the BSU record books twice during the first month of his rookie season.
Next up is the BSU Invitational on Dec. 2 followed by six dual meets and then the Little East Championships Feb. 15-17.
“I’m hoping if I keep my training up, I can possibly get to (the regional) meet this year,” said Fowler. “Right now, I’m just focusing on improving every day when I’m at practice and every meet I’m at. There’s always an opportunity to get better. I don’t try to think about times or big goals. Why stress yourself out?”

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Originally posted 2023-11-22 21:30:45. Republished by Blog Post Promoter