(Tuesday, June 24th) – Trey Cashion, state champion swimmer at Walden Grove High School, seemed destined to become a swimmer at the University of Arizona. So, fittingly in May, he accepted a scholarship to join U of A swimming head coach Rick Demont’s Wildcat program.
Swimming runs in the Cashion family, as sister Courtney swam at the University of Arizona then stopped because of a back injury, but now is back swimming with the Ford Aquatics team in Tucson. Brook Cashion, another sister, competed at the University of the Pacific on a full scholarship.
“We have a long history with the Cashion family since his sister also swam for us,” Demont said. “I’ve watched him since he was just a kid, maybe eight or 10 years old. He wasn’t very good at that time, but he had a smooth way of going through the water.” “Now he’s a super talent who is still developing, so he’ll do really well even in his first years of college competition. In fact, I see him qualifying for the NCAA national meets in his first two years. He’s going to be a big help for our Wildcat program.”
During the 2013-2014 high school swimming season, Cashion garnered a pile of honors including gold medals at the Arizona Interscholastic Association state meet in the 100 backstroke and the 200 freestyle.
He also was named the Southern Arizona “Swimmer of the Year” and posted two All-American times which put him in the top one hundred swimmers in the nation in his events. At Arizona, Cashion expects to swim mostly the freestyle events including the 100 and 200 freestyle as well as the 100 backstroke.
The swimmer was bing recruited by other schools, but knew Arizona was where he really wanted to go.
“I was talking to other schools such as Texas, but I kept waiting to get the Arizona offer,” he explained. “By delaying, I hurt my chances of getting an offer from other schools. Eventually, Virginia told me that they knew there was no way they’d get me away from the Wildcats if Coach Demont offered so they just stopped talking to me.”
“Under NCAA rules, coaches are first allowed to call recruits on July 1 of their senior years and offer scholarships,” Cashion continues. “So Coach Demont called me on his first chance and offered a partial grant. Luckily, in the end, it worked out perfectly!”
The Cashion family figures the scholarship will be worth about $6,000 per year. Although Trey likes the idea of being close to home, he plans to live in the dorm on campus for his freshman year. At the U of A, Cashion plans to study to become a petroleum engineer and jokingly promises, “I expect to take my classes more seriously than I did in high school. Of course it’s going to be harder, but I’m willing and ready to work at it.”
But before he officially becomes a Wildcat swimmer, he expects to compete later this summer at the state meet, then a sectional meet in Portland, Oregon, with the hope of “making the cuts” that will result in an invitation to the U.S. Open in Irvine, California in late August.
“If I don’t get the times I need for the U.S. Open, I’ll go to the Junior Nationals which don’t require the top times. My present times already have qualified me for the Junior Nationals.”
That daunting schedule means he’ll be on the road every two weeks before university classes start in Tucson.
Walden Grove High School swimming coach Norma Jaeger predicts a grand future for her protégé.
“Trey will be successful at the U of A because he’s very focused with a great attitude,” Jaeger said. “Fellow Red Wolves swimmers would always say ‘When Trey is in the Olympics, I can say I swam with him.’ As his coach, I can predict only success as he continues to work hard at the college level.”
Cashion has big goals for his collegiate swimming career.
“In college I want to become an NCAA champion sometime in the next four years,” he says. But, I’m not going to think about the Olympics right now, because the medals and the dreams have to come one at a time.”
One day in the future, Cashion just may be destined to fulfill his dreams of wearing NCAA and Olympic gold medals.
Trey is the son of Kenneth and Victoria Cashion of Sahuarita.