Swimming Into Success

State record holder Nicole Fye commits to Ohio State.

Racing+towards+first+in+her+first+high+school+swim+meet+is+senior+Nicole+Fye.+Fye%E2%80%99s+first+season+ended+with+her+claiming+a+new+state+record%2C+and+RRHS+finishing+third+at+the+VHSL+state+championship.+Photo+by+Chas+Sumser.
Racing towards first in her first high school swim meet is senior Nicole Fye. Fye’s first season ended with her claiming a new state record, and RRHS finishing third at the VHSL state championship. Photo by Chas Sumser.

Racing towards first in her first high school swim meet is senior Nicole Fye. Fye’s first season ended with her claiming a new state record, and RRHS finishing third at the VHSL state championship. Photo by Chas Sumser.

Chas Sumser

Chas Sumser

Racing towards first in her first high school swim meet is senior Nicole Fye. Fye’s first season ended with her claiming a new state record, and RRHS finishing third at the VHSL state championship. Photo by Chas Sumser.

Mitesh Shrestha, Sports Editor

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Racing towards first in her first high school swim meet is senior Nicole Fye. Fye’s first season ended with her claiming a new state record, and RRHS finishing third at the VHSL state championship. Photo by Chas Sumser.

Chas Sumser
Racing towards first in her first high school swim meet is senior Nicole Fye. Fye’s first season ended with her claiming a new state record, and RRHS finishing third at the VHSL state championship.

 

      It’s 3:00 AM on a Thursday. Most students are sound asleep, but not senior Nicole Fye. 3:00 AM is the start of Fye’s day, when she begins her first hour and a half practice of the day. From the pool, she hurries to school, and right after the final bell rings she’s off to her second practice of the day. Practice is a daily routine, with the exception of Friday. It’s her passion for swimming that fuels the motivation to follow her rigorous schedule. It’s her passion that has made her a record breaker, state champion, All-American, and now Ohio State commit.

      Before 3:00 AM practices became routine, Fye’s swimming journey started much earlier. She was eight, and even then she had her eyes set on swimming.

      “When I was really little, and I first started I was like, ‘Oh, that’s what the big kids do,’ and that’s what I want to do,” Fye said.

      From there she kept with it, slowly getting better each year. At age 10, she won the 400m freestyle at the Georgia state championship. At age 13, she qualified for junior nationals. Swimming became increasingly serious for Fye, but she never slowed down.

      “I have never really gotten to a point where I’m like, ‘Oh my gosh I hate this,’ I just always thought it was fun,” Fye said.

      In her sophomore year, she moved from Georgia to Virginia, where she picked right up with her daily practices. “I knew I wanted to do this in college, and this is something I can do well in and be serious with,” Fye said.

      Her hard work was finally recognized last year. The calls started coming in the spring of junior year for Fye after her performance in the VHSL state championship.

      “In my junior year, I started thinking about where I wanted to go to college, and started filling out questionnaires,” Fye said. “During that summer I started getting phone calls, and eventually I met the Ohio State coach in August at a swim meet in Minnesota.”

      From there she went on a visit to the Columbus, Ohio campus in September, and a week later she made her decision.   

      As she enters her final season at RRHS, she’s hoping to recapture the success of last year’s season. A season that ended with RRHS finishing third at the state championship and Fye becoming the state champion and record holder in the 200 freestyle, all in her first season.

      “Hopefully we can get some more relays in the finals of state, and see how well we can score in states and regionals,” Fye said. “Maybe I can defend my state title in February.”

      At Ohio State, she hopes to pursue her other passion, biology, with plans to major in microbiology and minor in forensic science. Swimming-wise, she realizes that she might not be able to make an immediate impact her freshman year, but hopes to continually improve going into her senior season at Ohio State.

      “In college, I’ll have a lot more opportunities with strength training outside of the pool, and work with a nutritionist,” Fye said. “I’m hoping to improve over the four years, make some good friends, and hopefully go to the Big Ten Championships at some point, if I can make NCAAs by my senior year.”

 

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