Nicole Zou reflects on her memorable swim season

Siblings+Alex+Zou+%28left%29+and+Nicole+Zou+%28right%29+celebrate+their+first+and+only+season+together.
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Nicole Zou reflects on her memorable swim season

Siblings Alex Zou (left) and Nicole Zou (right) celebrate their first and only season together.

Siblings Alex Zou (left) and Nicole Zou (right) celebrate their first and only season together.

by Sandra Choe

Siblings Alex Zou (left) and Nicole Zou (right) celebrate their first and only season together.

by Sandra Choe

by Sandra Choe

Siblings Alex Zou (left) and Nicole Zou (right) celebrate their first and only season together.

Jenny Chen, Staff writer

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On Feb. 2, 2019, the HHS swim team continued the season at the Somerset Counties Championships, placing third. The girls team currently sits at 7-2-1 in the regular season and the boys are 7-2. 

It was a bittersweet ending for senior captain Nicole Zou, who is still hanging onto the memories of competing at the county level. Zou recalls a recent meet against Hunterdon Central.

“It was the last event in the meet, the 400 free relay,” Zou said. “The score was really close. Coach Sudol had walked up to the boys and told them that they had to score second place in order for the boys to win. The four boys, my brother included, had so much pressure on them. All four did brilliantly, and they all swam their best time.”

The final score for the boy’s team at the Hunterdon Central meet was 86 to 84, with Raiders taking home the win.

“I remember tensions being so high, and feeling incredibly stressed out for something I had no control over,” Zou said. “I was relieved and ecstatic when the anchor of the boys relay hit the wall, finishing second place, out touching the other team who had gotten first and third. I will never forget that night.”

Always humbled to see others succeed, Zou achieved a fair share of outstanding goals herself.  

Zou broke personal records as she surpassed the most amount of points earned per season in her swimming career at Hillsborough during the 2018-2019 season. In addition to being elected as the caption, Zou earned two first place finishes in two separate meets in her event, 100 breaststroke. After four years of training, Zou became an athlete her coaches could always count on for consistency, as she usually scores fourth or fifth place against teams of various skill levels.

Supporting each other in the face of adversity and uncertainty and celebrating together in victory, Zou led the swim team to great heights in a fantastic season that will provide more opportunities for success.

“I’m most proud of our team for always being there for each other,” Zou said. “I thank them for making this season one of the best.”

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