Reed senior Kyle Scalise will be traveling to Las Vegas to compete in the 4A State Swimming and Diving Championships on Saturday in both the 50-yard freestyle and the 100-yard breaststroke. Scalise is the top seed from the North in the freestyle after posting a time of 21.80 seconds and the second seed in the breaststroke following a time of 58.99.
Others outside the pool have taken notice of Scalise, both for his swimming accolades as well as further reasons.
“A lot of these kids I don’t have in class and anytime I want to know about a kid I ask their teachers, and every teacher he has cannot say enough about him,” Reed Athletic Director Ron Coombs said. “He’s respectful and he’s a harder worker in the classroom. You talk to his coach and he is just the epitome of what you want a student-athlete to be.
“He’s the type of kid when you’re coaching, you hate to see those kids graduating. You’re happy because they’re successful and moving on, but he’s a high school All-American. There’s not that many kids walking around this country that can say that. You hate to see those type of kids go because you think to yourself ‘Am I ever going to get one like that again?’ Everything you want in a student-athlete, Kyle’s that.”
While Scalise has gained praise in and around school, his true home is in the pool.
Swimming competitively since he was four-years-old, Scalise followed in the wake of a pair of older brothers as well as sisters who also swam competitively. It is that knack for the water, and the lineage, which is why going after championships is nothing new to Scalise.
“My brothers did swimming and my sisters, so it’s been kind of like a family legacy,” Scalise said. “I’ve been swimming my whole life and I’ve kind of grown up around the competition. All the years I think I’ve done very well and I’ve been happy with everything. Now it is my senior year and it’s my last year, so it’s been a different experience. It was a good time. It was a good last year. There’s a lot of emotion as a senior with the swimming and outside of it, trying to see where I want to go to school and what I want to do after high school. That’s been a big factor.”
Scalise said he has looked into schools throughout the western United States with his focus set on swimming at a Division I school. Thus far, the hunt for a campus has been narrowed down to South Dakota, Wyoming and possibly Hawaii.
For now though, Scalise will look to add another title for Reed after winning the 100-yard breaststroke his freshman year and taking second both his sophomore and junior years. He will also be aiming to take the 50-yard freestyle crown as well, which he switched to this season.
“I won the 50-free at club state, so I thought I’d try that out,” Scalise said. “It’s been going good. We’ll have to see how state turns out. It’s nice, but there’s some fast guys down in the south, so we’ll see how that’s going to go. Vegas is usually pretty fast. Generally, they’re faster than us, but I looked at some of the results and the kids aren’t that much ahead of me. I’m going to try to win. I got second in the 100-breast, but it was not by very much so I think I have a really good chance in both. I’m going to try my best. My goal has always been get first, so that’s always my motivation.”