Bartlesville Swim Q&A – Erin Downey & Gabe Rolfson – Presented by Tulsa Bone & Joint

TBJ_2018_004_VYPE_BANNER_250X250_Bartlesville 11.28.18

VYPE: What do you love most about your team and teammates at Bartlesville High School? 

Downey: I love how tight-knit our current team is. Anytime I’m having a bad day I can always count my teammates for a huge hug or some goofy dancing to cheer me up! This team has a very family feel to it and I couldn’t be happier to be a part of it.

Rolfson: The thing that I love the most about this team is the atmosphere. We’ve created a very strong bond between our teammates and we’re capable of being both very serious when it’s required and also being able to have fun together. The camaraderie is 


VYPE: How has this season been going so far? 

Downey: The Lady Bruins’ season has been an uphill battle, but not an unpleasant one! Obviously, the state championship title isn’t as guaranteed as it has been the past few years, but I think we’ve put the work to make it happen again. We have a huge freshman class this year and I’m excited to see the huge improvements and break-out swims they’ve been training toward!

Rolfson: This season has been going fairly well. The team has been swimming very well and very fast, and we’ve come to be extremely close-knit friends in the process. 


VYPE: What or who got you involved in the sport of swimming? 

Downey: Swimming has always been the No. 1 sport in my family. Both my parents swam in school and my older brother and sister continued the tradition in high school and college. I joined my first swim team when I was about five years old because I wanted to tag along with my siblings, but I ended up falling in love with the water. And here I am almost 13 years later!

Rolfson: I’ve been a fan of swimming as an activity for as long as I can remember, but what really got me personally into the sport and kept me in the sport was people telling me that I couldn’t do it, as in I wasn’t able to. People told me I wasn’t good enough, so I wanted to prove them wrong and I ended up falling in love with the sport and the team. 

VYPE: How important are academics to you and what are your plans after you graduate? 

Downey: I love athletics, but I also appreciate the challenges that academics bring outside of the pool. After I graduate, I plan to attend and swim for the University of Kansas…Rock Chalk!

Rolfson: Academics are extremely important to me. I’ve always been the type of person who enjoys learning, so it’s at the top of my totem pole. After I graduate I hope to attend Brigham Young University and study biochemistry.


VYPE: Do you belong to any clubs at school? 

Downey: Yes! I’m a part of BHS’s Environmental Club.

Rolfson: Well, I belong to the swim team for one. Other than that, no I don’t, no groups affiliated with the school at least. 

VYPE: Do swimmers stay on any sort of special diet or do you eat whatever you want because you burn so much in the pool? 

Downey: The right nutrition is a huge part of being able to swim well, but it isn’t as regulated as you might think. As long as we eat a fairly consistent diet of carbs, proteins, fruits, and vegetables, we’re allowed to treat ourselves to a good dessert!

Rolfson: We’re not required to be on any kind of diet, but I do try my best to pay attention to what I’m eating so that I can get the most out of every practice and perform at my best at every meet. However, one treat every now and then won’t kill anyone. 

Downey-swim pic

VYPE: What do you love most about being a student-athlete at BHS?

Downey: For the most part, Bartlesville athletics have always had a good reputation and I’m stoked to be a part of the legacy that we’re building for the Bruins.

Rolfson: I love the support that is provided by my peers and teachers. There’s always at least a few of my fellow student athletes from other sports in the stands at home meets. 

VYPE: What events do you swim? 

Downey: During the high school season, I mostly swim the 100 breast and the 200 IM. 

Rolfson: This year at regionals I’m swimming the 200 freestyle and the 500 freestyle. I also swim the 100 and 200 breaststroke. 


VYPE: What do you enjoy doing in your free time? 

Downey: I don’t have a ton of free time, but when I do I like to read and play games with my family.

Rolfson: I enjoy hiking and camping, those sorts of things. I also enjoy reading to learn. 

VYPE: What makes this team so fun to be around? 

Downey: Being on the Bruin swim team involves lots of off-the-wall traditions and cheers and I love how quickly this team has accepted the lighthearted eccentricity. We can have our game faces on in the water, but as soon as we’re out of the pool we’ll be back to laughing at stupid jokes and creating personalized handshakes with each other!

Rolfson: This team has unmatched comradery, and is incredibly accepting. We’re all weird in our own great ways, and we make the most of it.