Hard work are key words in Julianna Prim’s vocabulary and they have continued to be guiding principles for her at North Carolina State University, where she has continued her pursuit of excellence in the fields of academics and sports, now at the graduate level.
The Starmount valedictorian and two-time All-American, was named an Academic All-American honors while at Starmount High School where she clinched four high school state swim titles in individual competition. She received the honor of All-American again while a freshman on the Pfeiffer swim team during the 2009-10 season in the 200 butterfly event, breaking the university’s record. All totaled, she set 11 school records there and was named most valuable player.
Prim transferred to NC State her sophomore year going from what she called a small school atmosphere to a large campus that now “feels like home.” In 2010-11 she was named to the All-ACC Academic team. During the 2012-13 swim season, Prim also broke the Wolfpack’s 200 butterfly record while a member of the swim team.
Prim now plays basketball for the Wolfpack and has battled back on the court after breaking her foot earlier. She is also studying the biological sciences in the challenging schedule of graduate work and sports.
Prim continues to show her versatility. Twice, she has chosen the unusual tradition of playing basketball beginning in her senior years. Now in college after getting chosen as a walk on at NC State and first, during her 2009 senior year at Starmount High School. She said she chose basketball in high school because she had to chose one sport over the other, and went on to average 16.9 rebounds her only season on the court there.
Prim said her earlier foot injury has taken some recovery time. However, Prim is back in full swing with a focus on bringing energy to the post, playing hard with her teammates and enjoying time with teammates outside of sports for relaxation.
However, at the end of the day, Prim came back to the subject of swimming and it is swimming that beckoned her at an early age. “My dad was my coach since (I was) 6, that was my sport. It was what I did. Basketball was just for fun.” Prim still practices swimming whenever she can, she said.
Meanwhile, Prim said basketball remains fun and said she is close to the team, which sports a record of 22-4 overall; and are 9-3 in the Atlantic Coast Conference, their highest since 2004.
Prim said the Starmount girl’s basketball team recently visited the State women’s team during the “Hoops For Hope” game for breast cancer awareness against Carolina and had a tour of the facility.
Prim said, “It was fun, I felt like I was at Starmount. I am really thankful, that I went to Starmount and came from Yadkinville.”
She said it was important to be able to encourage and talk to the high school players. She said she emphasized how applying oneself and working hard can help those wanting to follow their dreams.
In addition, Prim said her parents, Valerie and Clinton (Oz) Prim, remain instrumental in the journey. She said they never missed a swim meet and come to her basketball games.
Prim said both parents are coaches and she wanted to point out in particular, the impact her father’s coaching ability in swimming has had on her life.
“My dad can yell and be intense but at the end of the day all the swimmers know that he cares about you.” She called him the best coach she has ever had in the sport of swimming.
Good coaches correct and change but at end of day, you know they still care for you, said Prim. Then, she said athletes are “able to do their best” and “able to still have something left, when the day is over.”
Clinton Prim is the Head Swim Coach of Starmount and Elkin High Schools.
Prim said she is considering the possibility of training for Olympic trials or other swimming options but has not committed yet. Meanwhile, the graduate student is studying the biological sciences and finds joy in coaching the youth in swimming when she can in Yadkinville.
Also a member of Christian Athletes in Action, Prim added,” I am on the leadership team and I really enjoy that as well.”
Prim was named NC State 2013 Top Ten Scholar Athlete holding a 4.0 GPA.
Tanya Chilton may be reached at 336-835-1513 or on Twitter @TanyaTDC.