May 7, 2014
The Varsity Ohio staff recently spoke with former Ohio Women's swimmer, Hollie Bonewit-Cron. Hollie agreed to help us continue Varsity Ohio's "Get to Know an Ohio Athletic Hall of Famer", where we interview former stand-out Bobcat student-athletes to ask about their experiences at Ohio University.
Varsity Ohio: Growing up in Athens, did you always know you wanted to attend Ohio?
I initially looked at a Big Ten school, but went on a recruiting trip there and didn't get a good feel. Greg, who had been in contact with me early, talked to me again about swimming at OU. Despite my initial reservation because it was my hometown, Greg was patient and graciously accepted me into the program. At that time, I felt Ohio was 100% the best fit for me. I owe my development as a swimmer to Greg and his program.
Varsity Ohio: Can you talk about the atmosphere at Ohio practices and swim meets?
Hollie: The practice atmosphere was centered on hard work paying off. We know what we did would benefit us at the end of the year. The atmosphere at swim meets was very nice to be around because it was both men and women working towards the same goals.
Varsity Ohio: Describe what it means to be an Ohio student-athlete and Bobcat?
I am proud to be one and proud to represent Ohio.
Varsity Ohio: What is your favorite memory at Ohio?
Hollie: Making it to the NCAA's. I remember exactly where I was when I got the call. Greg said, "You worked so hard this year and because you did a great job this season, pack your bags." It really lit me up as an athlete hearing all the hard work had paid off.
Varsity Ohio: What is your favorite memory as an alumna?
Hollie: Recounting all the opportunities I had to represent OU as a student-athlete. I embraced what it meant to have Bobcat pride and took part in experiences that are unique to Ohio University, which will be forever embedded in my mind. I especially enjoyed the time I spent with each of my teammates as our team had a lot of diversity.
Varsity Ohio: What advice would you give the current team and future Bobcats?
Hollie: My advice for current Bobcats would be to appreciate the opportunities and sacrifices given to you by your coaches, professors, family and mentors. To all future Bobcats, I would tell them that embarking on their four years at Ohio University will be an experience they will forever cherish and to take advantage of every opportunity presented to them.
Varsity Ohio: Tell us about your experience as an Olympic coach?
Hollie: It was surreal and the opportunity of a lifetime. I experienced a level of competition that reaffirmed and reinforced the commitment of being a coach. It was incredible to be entrenched in a level of camaraderie among athletes and coaches with a common goal.
Varsity Ohio: What have you been involved with after your time as an Ohio University student?
I coached at Georgia Southern from 2000 - 2002, University of Florida from 2002 - 2008, Miami from 2008 - 2009 and Nova Southeastern University from 2009 - present.
At Georgia Southern, I transitioned from being an athlete to a coach and I went from being somewhat selfish to selfless. At the University of Florida, it was another level of intensity. The learning curve was so deep and I truly learned that coaching is as much about learning as it is about teaching. I credit a lot of what I learned to the coaches I worked with at Florida. At Miami, I found value in being more patient with athletes. At Nova Southeastern, I have learned how to instill values to all different types of athletes and have found ways to motivate all different levels of abilities.
Varsity Ohio: You were a 17 time MAC Champion. Can you talk about that experience and achieving those accomplishments?
Hollie: Each achievement was an individual accomplishment. It meant so much to do all those things. I didn't think I could achieve those things until I did. My focus in and out of the water had a direct correlation to my performance. It all came down to my approach. I knew what I wanted and tried to not let distractions get in the way. Each achievement was a reminder of what I was capable of.
Varsity Ohio: How did it feel to receive the Hall of Fame award?
The Hall of Fame induction was humbling. Being recognized in front of alumni, supporters, faculty of Ohio was incredibly rewarding. I gave birth 12 days earlier so it meant a lot to me that my newborn, parents, husband were there. I showed appreciation to Greg Warner and thanked him for taking a chance on me.