MARIETTA — Addie Rose Bullock is competitive and loves to win at everything she does.
Winning is something Bullock has already mastered in the swimming pool.
The Kennesaw Mountain junior has won three straight Cobb County titles in the 100-yard butterfly. She set a new meet-record time in each win, with her latest best being 54.86 seconds. Bullock is also a two-time defending county champion in the 200 individual medley.
Last season, Bullock picked up her first state title in the 100 butterfly, besting her top county time with a 54.06, and she is favored to defend that title this weekend in the Class 6A/7A meet at Georgia Tech. She is also a contender to win the 200 IM after placing second a year ago, and she is on a 400 freestyle relay that has the potential to finish in the top three.
Bullock’s efforts could provide a major boost in helping Kennesaw Mountain improve upon a 10th-place showing in last year’s meet.
“The one thing that’s great about Addie Rose — not only does she love to compete and give her best effort, she just loves the sport,” Kennesaw Mountain coach David Reason said. “She gives everything she can to the sport when she’s in the water.”
It is not just in the swimming pool where Bullock has that that strong drive to succeed. She is competitive when it comes to academics, and her 4.25 grade-point average is indication that she is among the top in her class
However, she does have a difficult time competing against members of her family in another outlet — “Jeopardy!” questions.
The longstanding TV quiz show is often on when the Bullocks are eating dinner, and Addie Rose’s father, Bud, gets the last laugh every time.
“My dad normally gets every questions right, but I really do want to get those questions right,” Addie Rose Bullock said. “I’m always trying to get more questions right than my brother (Will), because we are normally the same level on how much we know, but my dad knows everything.”
When Bullock is feeling nervous about a certain subject or test, she says her father usually reminds her that “Your brother got an ‘A,’” and whatever nervousness she has goes away.
“He knows that’s all he has to say to get an ‘A,’” Bullock said. “I’m competitive in that way. If my brother is able to do it, I can do it. Even in school, if we have a game or if we have a test and someone said they got a 92, I’m like, ‘I hope I did better than that.’
“It’s a natural instinct for me to want to be better.”
Addie Rose and Will, who is a senior at Kennesaw Mountain, signed up for summer-league swimming at the Marietta Country Club when they were 5 and 6 years old, respectively.
Addie Rose found her comfort zone in the water and was swimming competitively for the Cobb Stingrays at age 7. Will preferred to do his racing on land and is set to run cross county at Eastern Illinois University.
With Addie Rose determined to win at everything she competes in, how does she handle herself when she falls short, particularly when it comes to swimming?
Bullock said there was a time when she would get frustrated and emotional after a loss and would even come close to crying. As she grew, she has learned to stay focused, level-headed and positive, knowing she may be back in the pool two or three events later.
Bullock said Stingrays coach Ian Goss has worked with her on her reactions after a loss and staying calm if she does comes up short. She has since learned to use losses as motivation.
“I normally congratulate everyone next to me and tell everyone, ‘Good job,’” Bullock said. “If I’m really upset, I carry it on to the next race an attack that race.
“My (reactions) shows a lot about character and who you really are as a person on how you react to stuff, and if you react with awful language and big emotions, no kindness and not looking at the good in anything. I’ve been working on not using so many emotions. That was my problem.”
Reason has also talked about Bullock’s maturity and being able to put the Kennesaw Mountain team ahead of her own successes, which could pay dividends at the state championships.
“She’s become such a leader on our team this year, and she’s only going to be better next year as a senior,” Reason said. “She’s taken more of a role in the overall team concept and the overall performance of the team, and that’s what I’ve been really pleased to see.”