This week's River Bank & Trust Athlete of the Week is Auburn High's Maggie Casey, a senior on the Tigers' swimming team.
Auburn Villager: How did you get into swimming?
Maggie Casey: Well, my cousins actually swam on the little summer league team in Atlanta, and I lived with them for a summer, just kind of for fun, and I swam with them. I really enjoyed it, so I came home and swam here. I started when I was 11.
AV: What was it that sparked your passion for swimming?
MC: I've always played every sport. Growing up, I played just about everything. I guess getting into swimming was just really different. I clicked with it very fast, and with my height it helped a lot. I was pretty good at a young age, so I enjoyed it.
AV: What events to you compete in?
MC: I'm freestyle, so mostly mid-distance — the 100, 200 and 500 is kind of where I stay. But I can swim the sprints or the 50 to the mile. I'm kind of all freestyle everything.
AV: What is the trick to getting a good freestyle stroke?
MC: For me, it's more upper-body strength because I don't use my legs a ton. I kick but not as much. And then obviously working on technique and things like that.
AV: Did you have any swimmers you looked up to as role models?
MC: When I was younger, there were some older girls that swam the same events I did, and I was friends with their younger sisters. And I always looked up to them just because I thought they were so good. I always wanted to be up there, so that's kind of where I am now. And then obviously there were some Olympians and people like that I look up to.
AV: How did your season go?
MC: It went really well. We weren't supposed to place as high as we did, so I was really happy about that. And I was happy with where I ended up. I went best times in both my events. I was happy with how we did overall, and how I did.
AV: Did you set a personal record this year?
MC: Yeah. I broke the club record in the 200 free and set my own personal record. And I did the same in the 100 free. I didn't break the club record, but I set my own personal record.
AV: How does it feel setting those?
MC: It's really exciting. It kind of helps me for swimming in college and other colleges looking at me with better times.
AV: You qualified for junior nationals?
MC: It's a time-standard, so I went fast enough, so I made the cut time to swim at junior nationals, which is this weekend in Atlanta, so I'm really excited about that. This is the first time that I've made it. It's a really big deal for me. It's been a big goal of mine for as long as I can remember, so I'm really, really excited.
AV: As a senior, do you know what you want to do after you graduate?
MC: I've been talking to schools, and I'm kind of narrowing down my decision, but I haven't made a complete decision yet.
AV: What schools are you looking at?
MC: I'm looking at Florida Atlantic University and then I'm talking to Auburn and Alabama still. But I'm just trying to decide on who gives me the best offer.
AV: Outside of sports, do you have any hobbies you enjoy?
MC: I play rec basketball for fun, just with my friends. Then I just hang out with my friends mostly and go to football games and stuff like that. We're a big sports family, so we're always at sports games.
Interview by Brian Woodham