Nikola Tadic: The All American Swimmer


Nikola Tadic at the state IHSA competition.

By Celina Saba, Staff Writer

Swimming his way to Nationals in Orlando, Florida is junior Nikola Tadic. As a varsity member on the Niles West’s swim and dive team, Tadic continuously pushes himself to improve. 

“I eat healthy consistently and practice everyday with a level head,” Tadic said. “My passion for the sport pushes me to be better.”

All his hard work paid off during sectionals when his 50 meter freestyle qualified him for state and left him with a sectional championship.

Fast forward to state, Tadic placed 2nd in the 50 yard freestyle with an all-American time of 20.47 seconds. “With a 50 yard swimmer, you can’t have a mistake at the race otherwise you’ll know it, and he swam a perfect race and had a good time,”  boys’ head varsity swim coach Dan Vanderjeugdt said.

As Tadic prepares for nationals, he recounts when his love for the sport first began.

“I started swimming competitively at the age of nine and it has helped me manage my time and taught me discipline. I started because I always loved swimming in the ocean,” Tadic said.  

Over the years, Tadic has learned to build and focus on continuously improving his stellar work ethic. 

“Tadic studies the sport of swimming and that’s what makes him great. He swims year round and never takes a break; he doesn’t like to miss practice,” Vanderjeugdt said. “The big thing about Tadic that makes him such a good swimmer is that after every single swim he wants to know what he can work on whether it was a good swim or a bad swim.”

Tadic’s work ethic is not left unnoticed by his team. 

“He is incredibly hardworking and determined. I still remember how he’d push himself everyday at practice,” senior varsity swimmer Christopher Lohan said. “He is also fun to be around. He brings good energy to those around him and really loves to push us to improve ourselves as well.”

“Nikola is a great swimmer and team player. He always supports the team during meets and he really drives everyone to be more competitive,” senior varsity swimmer Decklan Barnabas said.

Outside of swimming, Tadic can be found in the kitchen cooking a new dish, hanging out with friends and family or working out. While Tadic is still a junior, he has hopes and plans for his academic future.

“I am planning to go to a Division 1 school for college, majoring in Industrial Engineering,” Tadic said.

Tadic’s future is bright and the Niles West community cannot wait to see what he has in store.