Simon Shi Will Continue Hokies’ Breaststroke Depth

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NCAP’s Simon Shi has verbally committed to the Virginia Tech Hokies, dipping back into the NCAP recruiting pool that has served them so well.

Shi will join a Virginia Tech roster that this season, has at least 4 alumni from the Nation’s Capital Aquatic Club, one of the biggest and best clubs in the country. Specifically, he trains at the Claude Moore site of the club under coach Robie Robins, who himself is a Virginia Tech alumni.

In short course, Shi is primarily a breaststroker, butterflier, and IM’er.

Best times in yards:

  • 100 breast – 56.23
  • 200 breast – 2:03.27
  • 100 fly – 49.67
  • 200 fly – 1:50.24
  • 200 IM – 1:51.82
  • 400 IM – 4:00.47

Given those times, Shi’s best sprint freestyle times probably aren’t indicative of how good he can really be (he’s been 22.8 in the 50 fly, but only 22.0 in the 50 free; 49.6 in the 100 fly, but only 48.5 in the 100 free). He split 46.84 on an NCAP 400 free relay at the NCSA Junior National Championships in March.

When Shi’s made improvements to his times, especially in yards, they’ve come in huge chunks, especially between his sophomore and junior seasons. That includes 12 seconds in the 200 breaststroke.

Best Times (LCM in parenthesis):

Event              Freshman:                  Sophomore:               Junior:

100 breast     1:03.66(1:16.11)          1:01.01(1:12.33)          56.23(1:06.48)

200 breast     2:20.83(2:43.51)      2:15.14(2:29.52)          2:03.27(2:24.92)

100 fly            54.37(1:01.33)            52.28(59.42)              49.67(57.21)

200 fly            2:02.55(2:20.28)      1:55.49(2:17.15)          1:50.24(2:07.34)

200 IM           2:02.97(2:19.91)       1:56.30(2:13.48)         1:51.82(2:07.81)

400 IM           4:24.56(5:03.25)       4:09.93(4:47.88)      4:00.47(4:37.14)

While he’s made big drops, Shi is still short of the qualifying standards for the 2016 U.S. Olympic Trials, and he says that’s his primary goal for his senior year in high school. His closest bet so far is in the 200 IM, where he’s just 2.7 seconds from the 2:05.09 qualifying standard.

Besides swimming, Shi also competes in robotics and is the co-captain of the VEX Robotics Team. He is also the founder and president of the Tuscarora High School Computer Club. He plans to major in Virginia Tech in computer science – a program that boasts an 85% pre-graduation job offer rate for undergrads.

The Hokies have gradually built good depth in the breaststroke events at the ACC Championships level over the last few seasons, including Brandon Fiala, who was 5th in both the 100 and 200 as just a sophomore last year. Fiala broke through and gave the team at least an NCAA presence in the events, even though he didn’t score poitns.  With the addition of current freshman Michael Craddock (57.6/2:00.38), and now Shi, they’re continuing to build that group’s depth as they try and maintain their position as a force in the ACC. The Hokies have been in the ACC’s top 2 in each of the last four seasons after not having done so in any of their first 7 seasons in the conference.


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Great article about a great guy. Go Hokies! Congrats and good luck, Simon Shi!!


WHOOO!!! Go Simon! Proud of you! Hope you have a great time at Virginia Tech!

Steven's mom

All your hard work paid off! Congratulations!!! You rock, Simon!

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder of He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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