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Jan. 25, 2013

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Senior swimmer Nick Montes de Oca (Orange, Va.) recently sat down with to talk about UVa’s big win over North Carolina on Jan. 19, closing his career on a high note and more. The Cavaliers face Wisconsin and Virginia Tech Jan. 25-26 at the Aquatic and Fitness Center.

Question: What was it like winning the 200 IM against North Carolina for your first dual meet win of your career after starting at UVa as a walk-on four years ago?

Montes de Oca: My main goal was to help the team however I could. I was happy that I was able to do that and even happier to finish my dual meet career against North Carolina with a win. It was pretty special because in my first year against Carolina, I didn’t even get to travel to the meet.

Question: Ahead of the UNC meet, what did you try and tell the first-years to prepare them for their first experience in the rivalry?

Montes de Oca: What we try and impart to the first-years is how much faster you can swim when you swim with emotion and the North Carolina meet is the perfect opportunity to learn that. There are so many different emotions going on at this meet like excitement, anticipation and happiness along with a little bit of anxiety. Most freshmen haven’t experienced that before at a meet, so that’s what we try to team teach them during the week leading up to the meet because we’ll use that emotion as much, if not more at ACCs coming up.

Question: What are you going to miss the most at UVa?

Montes de Oca: What I’m going to miss the most about UVa is the swimming. I’m going to miss the group of true friends. When you join the team here, you automatically start out with a big group of best friends. You get to know them probably better than anyone else before and it’s cool to have that support group.

Question: What are your goals for the rest of the season?

Montes de Oca: My goal is for the team is have an even better performance against Wisconsin and Virginia Tech than we’ve had this year because we have gotten better and better at each dual meet we’ve had this year. That would be the perfect way to end the dual meet season. To close out the season at ACCs, I want us to close out the year with an even better performance and continue that trend we’ve set so far. For personal goals, I want to build on the contributions I’ve made to the scoring team.

Question: What’s next for you after Virginia?

Montes de Oca: I’m looking at jobs and am not limiting myself to one set career path or starting point. I’d also like to continue my education after a few years of working experience. As an economics major, I’ve been looking at some consulting firms, but I also just applied for Teach for America and I’ve been getting excited about that possibility lately. I would be assigned to a school in a low-income area and I would teach for two years, while getting trained and simultaneously earning a teaching certificate.

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