Luka Simic: Diving Into the Pool and School


Freshman Luka Simic is preparing for his first season as a Niles West swimmer.

By Aila Durakovic, Staff Writer

Every school year, a new wave of freshmen flood into the hallways of Niles West. Each kid carries a talent of their own into the school whether they know it or not. Figuring out that talent and using it is incredibly essential. Freshman Luka Simic found his talent at the age of eight in a pool. Ever since then, only hard work and dedication has been put into his love for swimming.

Simic attended Lincoln Hall for middle school and did club swimming since the sport wasn’t provided at the middle school. He has been on the club team for the past six years straight and is now finally able to join the swim team at West. His ambition to get better every day in the sport paid off and got him a spot on varsity. Simic is excited to build new friendships with the upperclassmen and push himself to keep getting better at this higher level of competition.

“I’m pretty nervous that I’m on varsity because I’m in all honors and AP classes so there’s going to be a lot to balance once season starts,” Simic said. “Although, I’m looking forward to having a fun and competitive season with all my friends. I want to motivate and help them every day to get better and better.”

Teammate Adrian Acosta who was also a freshman on varsity is hyped to have Simic on the team and see how he performs through the season.

“Luka and I have gotten close this past year and a half. I’ve watched him grow and get faster during practice and meets. The kid is so determined to prove himself and doesn’t give up. The amount of effort Luka puts in is going to make him achieve so many things this upcoming season,” Acosta said. “Since we lost a lot of great seniors, Luka’s speed and drive are going to be needed to keep the team going.”

Since the season hasn’t started just yet, Simic has his head in the books making sure all his grades are in check. School is an extremely significant part in his life that he strives in. Evolving from middle school to high school has made an impact on Simic, but it’s nothing that he can’t handle.

“Middle school to high school has been a big transition for me and I’ve definitely been getting more stressed than usual. My classes are difficult and I spend at least two hours studying every night,” Simic said. “But I’m super serious with school because I think this is my life. If  I challenge myself in school and do the best I can, then I feel that I’ll end up being more successful in life.”

Simic puts in so much time and devotion into his schoolwork that all his friends have noticed how that’s always his number one priority. Best friend and freshman Tony Pehar notes how much Simic has really been focusing on school since day one of freshmen year.

“Last year, Luka would always come up to me and say how high school is going to be so hard and how we can’t mess around anymore,” Pehar said. “This year he takes all high-level classes and has early bird VPE. Since high school has started, we’ve been logging off video games earlier than before because he needs to sleep for school. At Lincoln Hall, we would always walk together to class and now when I see him we just say hi. I’m glad he’s really focused on his school work because I can tell it means a lot to him.”

Swimming and school is really all that Simic has been prioritizing lately and that’s what he’s best at. He loves a challenge and is never willing to give up. His love for swimming really comes from the fact that it’s a good stress reliever for when life gets complicated.

“I really love to swim because when I’m stressed out, I love to go to the pool. Getting in a good practice just clears my mind and resets my body. It also just always keeps me fit and in good shape,” Simic said.

Simic has brought in his talent and is working with it right away. He has a fun and bright year ahead of him with many achievements to come during swim season and academically. Others around him already see that he will succeed.

“All I know is that when Luka leaves Niles West, that kid is going to have his name on the record board,” said Acosta.