By Evan Grice
When it comes to Piedmont swimming, one name has always been at the forefront, Kasey Rein.
And with good reason as well. Not only is Rein one of the founding members of the Piedmont swim team, she’s also a four-time state champion.
Monday evening though, Rein added another accomplishment to her already stellar career: college commit.
Following her graduation, Rein will be diving into the college waters as a member of the Evansville University Purple Aces swim team in Indiana, where she will be majoring in nursing and swimming in the 100 and 200-yard butterfly along with occasional backstroke events.
Evansville University is an NCAA Division 1 college, and a member of the Missouri Valley Conference.
“I’m definitely nervous, but very excited to be going to Evansville,” Kasey said about her commitment. “This will be a great new adventure for me to embark on and I can’t wait for it to get started. I never thought when I first started swimming that I would be in this position.”
“But through the years, as I watched those swimmers older than me sign with colleges, it made me want to achieve the same goal.”
Kasey added that it was the immediate acceptance into the nursing program at EU which swayed her decision to choose the Purple Aces, something she said was not offered at either Colorado State-Mesa or Southern Connecticut.
“I didn’t even get to see the nursing program at Southern Connecticut to be honest,” she said. “And with Colorado State-Mesa, they only accepted 36 applicants out of a possible 120 that apply. Evansville was much different with the automatic acceptance into the nursing program once you are enrolled.”
The moment was one of happiness and sadness for Kasey’s mom and her coach Orelia, who said while she’s sad that her daughter will be so far away, she couldn’t be more proud of her accomplishment.
“I’m definitely going to miss my baby girl, when she’s so far away from me,” Coach Rein said. “As a coach though, I’m so proud and happy for her. This is what she has worked so hard to do. All of the early morning practices along with afternoons and Saturdays have finally paid off. I’m so excited for her future.”
Kasey echoed the thoughts of her mother, adding this moment is simply special for the both of them.
“I’m going to miss my mom so much when I leave,” she said. “This is a very special occasion for us both. She’s done so much for me throughout my career and it’s going to be hard those first couple of weeks without her. But, I know she is very proud of me and can’t wait to see me swim in college.”
Coach Rein added that there is plenty to learn for her other swimmers from seeing Kasey’s success.
“The number one thing is to practice hard and put your heart into everything,” she said. “Don’t let mistakes deter you.”
Kasey and her Piedmont teammates will be back in action this afternoon at Kingfisher in PHS’ final competition before the Thanksgiving break happens.
When December starts, the Piedmont swim team will be hosting a meet at the Lighthouse Fitness Center on Dec. 10. before traveling back to Kingfisher on Dec. 12 for a rescheduled meet.