Dedication and hard work are crucial for having a successful career in anything that you are passionate about, no matter your age or origin. Nothing can block your path to a goal once there is a full commitment. Whether it is related to sports or academics, the effort to strive for your ultimate goals is what will shape your future. For Runar Borgen, a junior finance major and recent All-American men’s swimmer at the 2015 NCAA Division II Championship, it all starts with a talent. Originally from Bodo, Norway, Borgen discovered his talent as a swimmer when he was 7. At the age of 10, Borgen competed in his first competition on a club team, Tromsø Swim Club, which he continues to swim for today.
The rush it gave him to swim fast and the support from friends and family were the two biggest deciding factors on his ultimate passion. Being a member of the swim team is an experience that Borgen said led him to his achievements. He moved to Tampa in 2013 when he transferred to UT from University of Tormsø in Norway after his freshman year.
“Back home if I was going to continue [swimming] I wouldn’t have the opportunity to swim and do school,” Borgen said. “I had to choose one or another.”
He saw the perfect opportunity to fulfill both goals of having a career in finance and swimming by moving to the U.S. Borgen said that, since he became a Spartan, his skills have improved drastically. He made the All-American cut for five races after competing in the NCAA Championship over spring break. Those races include the 50 Free, 200 Medley Relay, 200 Free Relay, 400 Medley Relay and 800 Free Relay.
He also won the gold medal at a Norwegian competition this past weekend. Friends and family were impressed by Borgen’s improvements after becoming a Spartan.
“It’s always been a goal of mine to go home and win gold, and I did so I’m very happy,” Borgan said. “I’ve gotten second and third, I don’t know how many times, so finally taking that extra step to go home and get a couple gold’s is awesome.”
These achievements would be nothing without his coaches and teammates. Borgen discusses that he and his teammates push each other during practice to perform 110 percent every day.
“Runar has the ability to race no matter how deep into training we are,” said head coach Ed Brennan. “He is able to recover mentally and physically and race day after day. That challenges everyone in his training group.”
Brennan said that one of Borgen’s most significant moments on the team thus far was his lead off of the 200 Freestyle Relay at this year’s NCAAs.
“He kept us swimming against the fastest swimmers in the division,” Brennan said. “We broke the national record but finished second.”
Both Borgen and Brennan have goals to finish in the top five at next year’s NCAA tournament. They also plan on becoming national champions in the 200 Free and 400 Medley relays that they fell short on this year. Borgen is excited for the upcoming season even though his senior year is approaching, which he considers a sad time. He is also looking forward to the number of competitions he will be racing in for his club team this summer.
“It’s going to be a little sad but it’s going to be a lot of fun because I think I’m going to do really well next year,” Borgen said.
Ann Marie Distasi can be reached at can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org