Get To Know East Carolina University's Nikola Simic

by Josh Huger (MrUtopia)

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Created December 9th, 2011 04:44:32 AM

Modified December 9th, 2011 04:44:32 AM

East Carolina University’s Nikola Simic is this week’s featured swimmer. Nikola, who is currently a freshman with the Pirates, has enjoyed a smooth and successful transition into the world of college swimming.

His successes throughout his career include swimming at the European Championships in 2010 for the Serbian National team, winning the Junior Balkan Championship in 2009 in the 50 meter fly, and most recently breaking two ECU team records at the 2011 Nike Cup.

In this SwimUtopia interview Nikola tells us about what breaking two ECU records as a freshman does to for his confidence and what the ECU coaching staff does to help set him up for success.

Let’s get started!

What made you choose East Carolina University?

I heard that ECU has a great reputation and a good swimming team.

What other schools did you look at during your recruiting process?

I mostly just looked at ECU. I didn't even take a recruiting trip. I just e-mailed the coaches and that's how I got here.

You recently broke two ECU varsity records at the 2011 Nike Cup. What does that do to your confidence as you progress further into your freshman season?

Well, considering that this is my freshman year and I didn't fully taper or shave for the Nike Cup and still broke two varsity records, it really does give me great confidence and a more motivation to train harder for the Conference Championship to see what more I can achieve.

What is it like training with everyone at ECU?

It is a great atmosphere. ECU has sixty swimmers so it's never boring.

Your roster page says that you are from Novi Sad, Serbia. How has the training here in the United States differed from back home?

Training is not that much different for me here. Besides a few smaller differences, our sprint program here is very similar to what I am used to. My coach back home always called our program an American program.

What does the ECU coaching staff do to help set you up for success?

The coaches are great. I can see they care a lot about us and our progress and work hard to make us faster. That is something that I like. Every swimmer needs special attention. At ECU I have that, even though we are big team.

What is your most memorable moment so far with the team?

Nike Cup definitely had the most influence on me. I was very satisfied by my races. I finished third in 100 yard free and that was a really great experience for me considering that I never swam in yards before I came here. I had a lot of fun with the team at that meet as well.

What would you say your biggest accomplishment has been in swimming so far?

Swimming European Championship in 2010 for Serbian National team.

What are your top times?

My top times this year at ECU are:

20.52    50 yard free
44.62    100 yard free
1:40.02 200 yard free

What would you say motivates you?

I just like swimming. It is part of my life. But to be honest, the Olympic Games are really my ultimate goal that keeps me going.

What are some things that people may not know about you?

I make very good American Apple pie

What is your favorite pump-up band or artist to listen to before racing?

KISS is my favorite band. But I like to listen some RAP songs before races.

What is your favorite food?

Mac and cheese

Who has been the most influential person in your life?

My father was responsible for my success, He gave up so much just too keep me in swimming. Really, I would say my whole family. They are all the biggest support for me.

What would you say is the hardest practice that you have ever done?

Well this is only a part of that practice. I swam 40 times 50 meters fly on 40 seconds pace. I will never forget that. That wasn’t even a sprint practice, but it was hard.

At what point in your life did you know that you wanted to take swimming to the next level?

Probably in 2004 when I made the Serbian National team as a “future hope.”

Please list any other additional information that you would like to share!

I won the Junior Balkan Championship in 2009 in 50 meter fly Long Course.