Diving into The Life of Junior Niki Nolte
By: Jacob Heffner, Class of 2018
Kutztown Area High School Junior Niki Nolte has developed a love and passion for swimming ever since she started 9 years ago.
“I know I’ll never be able to stop because I physically, mentally and emotionally can’t live without it,” said Nolte.
There is nothing better in the sports world than when you find that type of passion towards something you love doing.
As with any sport there’s always something that drives a person to start participating. In Niki’s case, this something was her sister.
“My sister [Krystal, KAHS class of ‘16] was on the Kutztown Dolphins swim team and she always seemed to have a lot of fun and learn a lot of new things and that made me want to start swimming on the team too,” said Nolte.
Starting at a young age can be a major key to start developing into a potential star.
"I continued to swim in the winter and summer and realized it was something I was having a lot of fun with, and I was doing really well,” said Nolte.
There is a saying “Practice makes perfect,” and this saying describes Nolte perfectly. She’s been displaying that message from a very young age.
“Getting up before school, going to swim practice, going to school and going back to swim later that day is one of the hardest parts because it takes a lot out of you physically and mentally,” said Nolte.
Even though it may be tough to juggle every aspect in her life, she wouldn’t change it for the world because of all the great experiences that come along with it.
“I love it because getting to stand on the podium with a medal in your hand, a smile on your face and a new time on the board is something I cherish and want to continue to experience,” said Nolte.
Over the weekend of December 9th-11th, 2016, Nolte participated in the junior national event at Ohio State University. Even though she did not quite meet the expectations she had for herself she took away the positives and didn’t dwell on the negatives.
“I learned a lot about myself and my mental toughness this past weekend,” said Nolte. ”Getting slow times can mess with your head, but keeping that positive attitude is the only thing that got me through the week.”
She has not wandered very from the mentality of improving everyday, and at this point it doesn’t look like she ever will.
“Learning to work harder to get past tough meets is what separates a mediocre swimmer from a phenomenal swimmer,” said Nolte.
The Kutztown community will be able to see how Nolte has improved even in this short amount of time on Sunday, January 8th, at Bucknell University as she competes for high school district cuts.