KISU swimmers Riley Kascak and Simon Paisley are taking their swimming to another level — Canadian Interuniversity Sport.
Kascak and Paisley will be joining the University of Lethbridge and Guelph swim programs, respectively.
The door opened for Kascak while competing at the Western Nationals in Winnipeg. Pronghorns coach Peter Schori approached Kascak and invited him to visit the school and be around the team, swim with them.
“I really enjoyed it. I thought it would be a good fit for me,” said Kascak, who intends to study general management before law school.
Kascak, in Grade 12, joined the KISU club when he was in Grade 8 and got into the sport to get stronger for that part of triathlons. Once he got into it, he fell in love with swimming. While he said it was tough trying to catch up to some of the guys who have been swimming for longer, it was fun for him.
“I’m working my way up and trying to improve myself,” he said.
His goal with the Pronghorns is to qualify for the university championships. Under the guidance of Schori, Kascak is excited to see what he can accomplish.
Paisley joined KISU this season after being part of the Penticton Pikes, who he helped coach for several seasons. He chose to join the Gryphons program after coach Don Burton pursued him.
Paisley said Burton wants to help him chase his dream, which includes making trials for world championships and maybe one day going to the Olympics. Paisley joined KISU because he wanted to become a better swimmer and reach another level. He has enjoyed his lone season with the club.
“It’s become a lifestyle. I really like it. I really enjoy coming to the pool,” said Paisley, who is a former member of the Pinnacles FC Excelsior soccer program and is a multi-sport athlete. “Swimming with all my buddies and having a great time, especially performing at meets. It’s just always such a great team experience.”
KISU coach Tina Hoeben said Paisley’s potential is “very untapped.” Part of that is because he doesn’t have a lot of training in terms of time, since the Pikes are a summer swim club. Hoeben said his season with KISU set him up well for a university program and that competing at that level will give him a wider range of experience.
With Kascak, Hoeben said what will help him succeed is the high-level training he received and the meets he competed in against quality swimmers.
“He has a great combination of being very analytical and with big commitments to going out on a limb pushing himself,” she said. “He’s a good catch for university because he has lots of potential left.”
Hoeben is excited to see what both can do over the next two years. She said both university coaches see big potential in their new recruits.