PIEDMONT — Back in junior high, when Kasey Rein walked away from the ultracompetitive world of gymnastics, she was looking for a simpler pleasure.
“Gymnastics is so competitive, and I was so sick of it,” the Piedmont senior said. “I wanted to teach kids how to swim. That's all I wanted to do.”
As it turns out, the desire for competition is pretty strong in Rein. Once she got involved in swimming, she began to excel. And that brought the drive to do better.
As a junior last season, she won gold medals at the Class 5A state swim meet in the 500-yard freestyle with a time of 5:24.97 and the 100-yard backstroke in 1:00.21.
That, along with her success on her club team, earned Rein an opportunity to swim in college at the University of Evansville (Ind.).
“I didn't ever think I'd make it to the college level,” she said. “But the more I advanced into it, I decided I'd really like to do it in college.”
Rein is a good example of the broadening of swimming as a high school sport in the state. Until a few years ago, the OSSAA only had one class for postseason competition. But after splitting into Class 5A and Class 6A, the sport has blossomed.