Nick Clark’s life in the fast lane

Clark competing in a Knights swim meet.

TOWAMENCIN — BEEP. With one swift motion, you’re diving head-first into your designated lane. The chilly water hits your skin as you begin to rise from a streamlined kick into the desired stroke. The crowd’s muffled cheers are heard as you take a breath and start into your final fifty yards. Your hand gracefully hits the wall, and as you look up to the scoreboard with fogged goggles and out-of-breath pants, you smile. After hand-shakes are exchanged between the competitors, you are greeted with admiration from your teammates.

For NPHS senior Nick Clark, this isn’t where he initially wanted to be. 

“I started swimming when I was seven, and it was something my mom forced me into. At the time, I went to Methacton and I didn’t know anybody there. It wasn’t until I joined my summer swim team at Towamencin that it became enjoyable,” Clark said.

Once he found his place on the team, Clark was able to strengthen his training. For him, this is what made it worthwhile. 

Swim has taught me work ethic. You need to put in the time for any sport, but with swimming, you have to put in an extraordinary amount of time. Being able to practice like that taught me how to put in effort even when you don’t want to.”

— Nick Clark

“The best part about swimming is when you see your times get faster,” Clark said. “Swim has taught me work ethic. You need to put in the time for any sport, but with swimming, you have to put in an extraordinary amount of time. Being able to practice like that taught me how to put in effort even when you don’t want to.” 

Many athletes are given more opportunities because they participate in sports. And for Clark, this particular opportunity took him over four thousand miles away from Rick Carroll’s natatorium. One year, after the swim season ended, Clark participated in an International Sport and Cultural (ISAC) swim meet in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. 

“My mom was the one who approached me about it. She’s always been my biggest supporter,” Clark said. “Initially, I was a little apprehensive about extending my season, but it was an opportunity I couldn’t pass up. It was the best experience of my life, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything.” 

After exploring the tropical rainforests, visiting Christ the Redeemer, and continuously making a splash in the pool, Clark knew he wanted to continue the sport at the collegiate level. He began looking for the perfect fit in the fall of his junior year. 

Stick with it. For any athlete, it will take time, but I wouldn’t be where I am today without my commitment and hard work. You never know what opportunities may arise.”

— Nick Clark

“When I started the recruiting process, I didn’t initially reach out to Brown University. What made them stand out from the other schools was how interested they seemed to be in me. It was a very mutualistic experience, “ Clark said. “Their swim program is amazing, and I’m looking forward to it.”

Throughout his time here at North Penn, Clark has dedicated an extraordinary amount of time to the sport he loves. As he heads into his final, and uncertain, North Penn season, he stresses that the opportunities that he’s been given is due to all the dedication he puts into the sport.

“Stick with it. For any athlete, it will take time, but I wouldn’t be where I am today without my commitment and hard work. You never know what opportunities may arise,” Clark said.