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Jan. 11, 2013

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Virginia sophomore swimmer Shaun Casey (Port Orange, Fla.) recently talked with about her personal record-setting season so far and gearing up for the rest of the year. The Cavaliers face ACC rival North Carolina on January 19.

What brought you to UVa?

Casey: I was a spring recruit, so for the whole recruiting process, I had never found a school that fit me. I had a really good spring meet my senior year in high school, was contacted by UVa and when I came here on a trip, I immediately fell in love. For me, it was perfect balance between academics and athletics. I liked that I could come to a school and be challenged academically plus I could be on a team where I would be pushed to get better.

Having been here a year and a half now, what is the biggest difference between your first and second year on Grounds?

Casey: I’m much more comfortable this year. I had a little bit of difficulty transitioning from high school to college; I’m sort of a quiet person, so I wasn’t as confident coming in. My second year though, I’ve been able to be much more confident in races, at meets and in every-day training. It has made such a difference having a year of experience in college training and college swimming.

You had a great meet at the Georgia Invite in December, setting some personal bests; did you feel that with your training that you would go that fast in Athens?

Casey: I really wasn’t. I came into this season with an open mind; just hoping it would be better than last season. I was right on my personal bests at the end of my first year, but this season I made some harder goals for myself and wanted to swim better. I wasn’t expecting to swim that fast in Georgia, but I was pleasantly surprised, obviously. I think it was being more mentally focused this year and knowing what to expect.

Question: What are your goals for the rest of the season, starting with next weekend against North Carolina?

Casey: It is sort of nerve wrecking seeing how well I’ve done this year and hoping I can continue to keep improving, but I want to keep proving myself that I can do better. I’ve been training a lot more consistency this year as compared to last year and I’m hoping that transitions into success at the bigger meets and competitions, especially against North Carolina and at ACCs. I want to see how far I can go.

Question: Getting away from swimming a little, what is your favorite part of Grounds?

Casey: I know this is cliché, but I really like looking at the Lawn. Going to class is stressful, but those few minutes in between where I can just sit and look at the Lawn is just great. It’s always so beautiful and I like to take that time and appreciate what I’m surrounded by every day and realize I’m so lucky to be here. Not only do I like Grounds, but Charlottesville in general. My roommates and I like to go out to eat a lot and seeing what’s around is really fun.

Question: Why should a high school swimmer look to come to UVa?

Casey: It’s the great people, great academics and a great team. Something that really hit me when I was a recruit was the team. All the other schools I looked at had good parts and bad, but here it was the whole package. The academics obviously, the team is always competitive and the people you are surrounded by are always motivating, always have your back and it’s a comfortable environment.

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