On a team ranked No. 2 in the country, it can be difficult to stand out. Senior swimmer Neil Caskey has done this and more for the Longhorns all season long.
Caskey has dominated the competition this season, winning at least one event in every meet except one. To those closest to the team this comes as no surprise.
“Neil is a leader by his example and his training every single day,” said assistant coach Kris Kubik. “He has done seasonal and lifetime bests several times this year, and predicts to be a very big factor in the NCAA scoring for us.”
Voted a senior captain by his teammates, his success has clearly been recognized and rewarded. But every story has a beginning.
“I started swimming at about six years old in a summer league group,” Caskey said. “Swimming started working out best for me and at about age 14 I stopped everything else and went full-time swimming from there.”
Every time Caskey enters the pool, his supreme athletic ability is on display.
“In swimming there’s talented people, and there’s people who aren’t as talented that can outwork those people,” Caskey said. “And you can see a direct effect and your hard work pay off when you beat those more talented people.”
He’s a captain, a former All-American and likely a future Olympic medalist. With accolades like this, Caskey boasts an “it” factor that no one can ignore.
“He’s not the most vocal person in the team meetings,” Kubik said. “But when he speaks, everyone listens because it is very important to the team dynamic.”
Caskey appears to be the type of athlete and man that any school would kill to have. But the Longhorns were always the front-runners in the Caskey sweepstakes.
“It was the tradition and swimming under [men’s swimming and diving head] coach Eddie [Reese], who I think is the best coach in the world,” Caskey said. “And I’m from Houston, so that definitely played a role in it too.”
At UT, sports are the glue that holds the storied history together. Although Caskey was brought here for this reason, he is capitalizing on some other fruits it has to offer.
“I’m studying advertising,” Caskey said. “I’m in a couple of advertising groups that I do weekly meetings for and spread the word for that.”
Four seasons nearly under his belt, and Caskey’s future seems as bright as the sun. The path is lit, and confidence in his next accomplishment looms.
“I think Neil would like to medal in two or three events at the National Championships, which would earn him All-American status again,” Kubik said. “And at this stage that’s looking like exactly what he will do, and we expect him to be standing on that podium representing UT and shooting up the Hook’em Horns.”
A winning talent, attitude and charisma have made Caskey a household name amongst fans and friends alike. If swimming ever ends, Caskey’s winning ways will never halt.
“Neil is a person who cares about others, and a person who if you spend more than five minutes with him you will have a friend for life,” Kubik said. “Neil is someone who will be successful in whatever he chooses to do down the line.”
Printed on Tuesday January 24, 2012 as: Future bright for senior All-American