If you haven’t seen UMaine men’s swimming team standout fourth-year leader Nicholas Sundquist, you should. He may be the greatest swimmer of all time to come out of the state of Maine and is going to continue shattering records, some being his own, in his senior year campaign.
Sundquist comes from Windham, Maine where he swam for the Eagles under Head Coach Russ Yarmouth. While at Windham High School, Sundquist competed in freestyle, backstroke and butterfly. He was a six-time high school state champion with one of greatest men’s high school swimming career of all time in Maine. He grew up with a pool in his yard and and got an early start on his swimming career. Getting the early start has propelled Sundquist to where he is today, the state of Maine’s most-prized swimmer. He swam his freshman year at UMass Amherst before transferring to UMaine.
“I started swimming when I was four or five years old, I joined a club team when I was seven and that’s when I took off. I always stuck with it because it’s something I was good at,” Sundquist said.
Aside from being a long-time swimmer, there are a lot of other things that have gone into Sundquist’s success. First and foremost is his competitiveness and will to win. He has this competitiveness in all aspects of life, but it translates especially well over to his swimming meets where he doesn’t lose a whole lot.
“The biggest thing for me has been my competitiveness, I hate losing. I’m competitive in video games with my roommates or especially when I’m playing sports. My competitiveness comes into effect at practice a lot too when I’m racing next to a teammate, I’m never trying to lose that set,” Sundquist said.
Maine men’s head swimming coach, Susan Lizzotte, had kind words and certainly takes note of Sundquist’s work ethic. Lizzotte is well aware of how hard he trains and what makes him such a good swimmer, but also how he is fun to coach.
“It’s fun to coach Nick because he swims a variety of different events and he likes to train in a lot of different ways. Every day he comes in here and is training in a different way. He’s eager to change it up and try something knew. That’s why I think he is excelling the way he’s excelling,” Lizzotte said. “Not doing too much of one thing and not enough of another, he’s really keeping himself well rounded.”
His teammates have also noticed Sundquist’s sterling worth ethic.
“You never see him slacking off in the pool, he always gets the hardest sets every time. Loves to workout in the weight room. All around just brings it everyday,” fourth-year captain Shane Kinnon said.
His talent is undeniable; so are his reputation and teamwork skills. Sundquist is well-liked and respected throughout the team. His presence and determination are infectious throughout the locker room as he helps get the best out of everyone. Kinnon can’t say enough about how valuable he is to the team in and out of the pool.
“Having Nick on the team means everything to us. He is always looking to do what is best for the team. Obviously he is one of the fastest swimmers the program has ever had, breaking multiple records. In practice he is pushing people trying to get people to compete with him and pushes the whole team. He’s a great leader and a great guy,” Kinnon said.
Sundquist is an extremely gifted swimmer; the Black Bears are lucky to have him. If a swimming career after college does not work out, Sundquist plans to work in sports management.