Featured Freshman Friday: Nika Fellows

When she’s not out playing Ultimate Frisbee with the team or swimming countless laps in the pool, freshman Nikola “Nika” Fellows can be found reading a good crime novel or enjoying the outdoors. Her first name comes from her family’s Greek roots and her favorite food comes from a popular French appetizer. In this week’s Freshman Friday, KUAthletics.com is excited to share some insights into the life outside the pool for the freshman from Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Why did you decide to swim for KU?
I decided to swim for KU because the team has a great atmosphere. On top of that, the coaching staff is phenomenal. Clark is an amazing distance coach, and that’s why I picked this school. It’s only the start of the season but we’ve been focusing a lot on technique, and a lot of it has been geared toward my freestyle. It’s been really helpful because it’s been a lot of little things that I don’t even think about, but it’s the little things that make the biggest difference.

What are you looking forward to the most being on this team?
I’m looking forward to competing with the team. I don’t really have a huge club team at home, there’s only about 12-15 swimmers in our senior program, and this team is just so close and the atmosphere is incredible. I’m really excited to see the energy that the team has at big meets.

Besides swimming, what are your hobbies?
I like to read, I’m a James Patterson and Nicholas Sparks kind of person. I like crime novels and love stories. Besides that, I’m an outdoors kind of girl. I like camping, biking with my dad and shooting.

What is your favorite pool game?
Sharks and minnows! We also played pool football with the recruits the other weekend, and this morning we played ultimate Frisbee after stadiums.

What has been your most memorable swimming moment so far?
When I made my first national time. I had been trying to get it for about two years, and when I finally made it my club coach and my mom were bawling like little babies, and I was just laughing. It was in the mile, which now is my best event, but at the time when I was 14 I didn’t want it to be my best event. So, I touched the wall and I won, and my coach was yelling at me from across the deck, “you made your national cut!” and I was just like, “what are you talking about?!” and he was crying when I got out, I didn’t even know that I had made it.

What has been your favorite vacation?
My favorite vacation was probably when my family took a big trip to Greece, to visit a lot of my relatives. We have a big family over there, we went for about 12 days.

Where do you see yourself ten years from now?
I see myself—hopefully—being a doctor. I want to be a surgeon. I’d love to be a pediatric plastic surgeon, working on cleft palates and stuff like that, not what most people think of when they think plastic surgery.

What’s your favorite KU tradition?
My favorite KU tradition would probably be the alma mater. With everyone swaying together, it just makes everything else feel small. You feel like you’re just connected with everyone, it’s awesome.

What’s your favorite food?
Escargot. Escargot or muscles. My dad is a huge seafood person, so on special occasions we’d get seafood, so that’s been my favorite since I was really little.

What is your favorite song or music to get pumped up to?
Country! My favorite song is “Why Don’t We Just Dance” by Josh Turner. Tim McGraw is my favorite artist, all the way. I’ve been to two of his concerts, and hopefully another one soon.

Tell us something that most people don’t know about you.
I’ve been snow skiing since I was three years old! We have a cabin up at Taos Ski Valley, in New Mexico.

It doesn’t look like Tim McGraw will be in the Kansas City area anytime soon, giving Fellows plenty of time to sing along to his songs on the team’s karaoke nights. Fellows and the team hit the road for Nebraska-Omaha on October 13, but will host the first home meet of the season against Denver and Missouri State on October 24.

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