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Senior swimmer Bianca Bocsa, a.k.a. the ‘Crazy Romanian,’ brings relentless spirit to Mean Green

Senior swimmer Bianca Bocsa, a.k.a. the ‘Crazy Romanian,’ brings relentless spirit to Mean Green

February 11
00:19 2016

Torie Mosley | Staff Writer

@toriemosley

The NFL has “Beast Mode.” The NBA has “The Black Mamba.” MLB has “Big Papi.”

For North Texas swimming and diving, the nickname “The Crazy Romanian” is synonymous with one of its most talented swimmers – senior Bianca Bocsa.

Bocsa’s nickname doesn’t completely stem from her exciting personality. Instead, it describes her freestyle technique and rapid swim stroke as a sprinter in the pool for North Texas.

“I have this warrior mentality,” Bocsa said. “I don’t give up until my last stroke. I always try to stay pumped during meets, especially when I really need to crank it up for one last burst of energy.”

Bocsa breathes every two strokes to keep her stroke rate high during late swim meet events for the Mean Green. The quick, consistent breaths help the Romania-native swim at her top speed and feed her non-stop motor.

Senior sprinter Michelle Balcaen joined the Mean Green as a freshman at the same time Bocsa did. Throughout their four years together, Balcaen said Bocsa always came in clutch for North Texas with her impressive freestyle times.

“We need someone to be there on the last relay, and she’s like, ‘Okay Crazy Romanian, let’s go,’” Balcaen said. “It’s a mindset [where] she has to go all out and leave everything in the pool.”

Bocsa left everything in Bucharest, Romania to come to Denton in 2012 after graduating high school as one of her native country’s top swimmers. While in Romania, she was successful academically and also received many awards, showcasing her as one of Romania’s best athletes. The senior earned a Master of Sport award for Olympic entry, the Carmen Bunaciu Cup for best backstroke, and the Olympic Gala Cup for Intelligence for succeeding in high school sports and academics.

Adjusting to Texas weather was one of the biggest differences for Bocsa coming to the U.S. According to Bocsa, her home country’s weather, much like her swim technique, stays extreme all year long.

Senior swimmer Bianca Bosca poses for a photo after practice. Colin Mitchell | Senior Staff Photographer

Senior swimmer Bianca Bosca poses for a photo after practice. Colin Mitchell | Senior Staff Photographer

“In Romania, we have our own four seasons,” Bocsa said. “We have Russian winters with six-foot snow, we have hot summers like here in Texas, we have spring like Germany and then we have a nice autumn.”

Although Romania celebrates the sport of swimming and diving with swimmers competing world-wide, the lack of funds towards competition compared to the U.S. was one of the reasons Bocsa wanted to come to America.

“We’ve had a few Olympians, but it’s just not as developed as it is here,” Bocsa said. “The facilities are old, and there’s not a lot of resources to be involved in that sport.”

When Bocsa joined the Mean Green in 2012, North Texas was in its last year as a member of the Sun Belt Conference. During her freshman season, she placed as a consolation finalist at the Sun Belt Conference Championship in 10th place with a 100 butterfly time of 56.96.

The Mean Green joined the Conference USA the following year and welcomed current head coach Brendon Bray to the program. Although Bocsa adopts the “crazy” moniker, Bray said it’s her warm personality that makes her a great captain and leader of the team.

“She has a big heart, and she’s a really caring person,” Bray said. “When she’s ready to go, she gives it all she can. She’s been able to rise above injury and continue to improve and swim fast.”

Bray has witnessed Bocsa’s improvement firsthand with some of the fastest times in school history in the 100M back (3rd), 100M free (3rd) and the 100M fly (6th). This season, Bocsa won first place in events against Rice University, the University of Houston and Texas Christian University.

Bocsa’s “Crazy Romanian” freestyle swimming has made her one of the program’s best swimmers in history, but Bray still worries as a coach when he sees the senior pushing her limits.

“When she goes ‘Crazy Romanian,’ sometimes it’s scary,” Bray said. “We always teach our swimmers to pace themselves. But when she goes crazy, she usually does well. So I like it.”

Bocsa is just as crazy about her team’s success as she is her own, saying she wants her and her teammates to take over the Mean Green record books.

“I really want to break all the records off that board,” Bocsa said, pointing to the North Texas record boards at the PEB Natatorium. “It’s getting boring. It’s old. There’s a 2010 record up there. I want all those records down.”

Bocsa’s aggressive style may scare her opponents and coaches, but “The Crazy Romanian” isn’t calming down anytime soon.

“It’s just me. That’s how I am,” Bocsa said. “I know I would not sleep well at night knowing that I could’ve been better. When you give it your all, that’s all that matters.”

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