Casey helps engineer success for Brentwood swimming

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Saturday, January 6, 2018 | 12:30 AM


Senior leadership on the Brentwood boys swim team is provided by five athletes.

An undisputed leader of the group is third-year team member Michael Casey, who is serving as a co-captain for the Spartans this season.

“Michael has totally bought into our conditioning program, and the younger kids have followed him,” said Mark Wroblewski, Brentwood's veteran coach. “He will be instrumental in our last relay (400 freestyle) in our last meet of the season at Carlynton.”

Casey, a member of the National Honor Society, is ranked first in his class with a stellar 4.789 GPA, and is a three-sport athlete at Brentwood, participating in swimming, cross country and track.

He has been class president for two years, and is president of the German Club, the school's largest club. He also is a member of the Technology Student Association, and is a percussionist (tenor drums) in the school's marching band.

On top of that, Casey has achieved the rank of Eagle Scout in the Boy Scouts of America program.

“My Eagle Scout project was putting new leather on the kneelers at St. Gabriel's church near Caste Village,” Casey said. “The ladies who voluntarily do so had become too busy and fell behind, so I was able to help them out by organizing my troop to do so with me.”

Casey has been accepted into the Swanson School of Engineering at Pitt's campus in Oakland. He already has committed to Pitt and plans to major in bioengineering.

Casey started out as a diver in his sophomore season at Brentwood. He has focused on the swimming events as a junior and senior.

“This year is going well for me,” he said. “I have been putting in a lot of effort, coming to practices before the season and lifting after practices. It has paid off; I am swimming in the more challenging lanes of the pool now.

“Being in these lanes, I have been surrounded by people that both encourage and challenge me to do better; plus, they have become my closest friends.”

The five seniors on the boys squad consist of Casey, co-captain Hunter Consolmagno, Grant Davis, Brendan Donnelly and Mason Woods.

Senior leadership on the girls team is provided by co-captains Calista Dodson and Cyrene Kephlagianis; along with Julie Boytim, Kylie Brunsell, Rachel Milcic, Emily Vickless and Sara Walas.

Milcic and Casey are tied for the No. 1 spot in the class rank.

“Both are amazing,” Wroblewski said.

Casey serves as design engineer

The highly motivated Casey was a design engineer on Brentwood's Interstellar M1 racing team that qualified for the World Finals for F1 in Schools held in September in Kuala Lumpar, Malaysia.

Brentwood also was represented on the world stage by seniors Morgan Dryburgh; design engineer; Ryan Schwarz, manufacturing engineer; Destinee Kellner, team manager; and Davis, communications manager/specialist engineer; and 2017 graduate Lindsey Powell, fundraising/sponsorship coordinator.

“The long, competitive trip with a small group of people fostered tighter collaboration with my teammates and other schools,” Casey said. “It pushed me to advance my own skills and abilities, because now I've measured my talents against the best and brightest in the world.

“I would love to extend my thanks from this trip to all the people that supported our team throughout the year, either in donations or helping in our workloads. None of the trip could have been possible without the support of all of these people funding and caring for our cause to represent the United States.”

F1, or Formula One, in Schools is an international STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) competition in which groups of students design and manufacture a miniature car out of the official F1 Model Block using CAD/CAM design tools. The cars have to follow specific guidelines, and are raced on a 20-meter long track.

The group of Brentwood students built a miniature car made of composite wood and powered by a CO-2 cartridge.

As noted, Casey and Dryburgh, another three-sport athlete, were the team's design engineers. Casey offered a description of the role of the design engineers.

“At the beginning it was to research aerodynamic principles, previous designs of F1 world's competitors, and outside sources,” he said. “Once we reached a design we were happy with, it was our job to create the car in a 3D-modeling software, and vigorously test different designs to optimize its performance on speed and stability.

“Once the design was sent to our manufacturing engineer to be machined, we had to organize research data and prove our car's legality to the rule book.”

Brentwood was one of only three teams from the United States that qualified for the world finals.

Digital media teacher Jennifer Hughes and engineering/technology education teacher Beau Sedlar were the team's sponsors and trip chaperones.

“My main focus of the trip was the competition,” Casey said. “We worked so hard to get there and that is what meant the most to me. To be expected, the other competitors were fierce and clearly showed us that competing to place well would take all that we had as a team and individuals. While being a stressful competition, it was rewarding in itself to meet so many students as dedicated as ourselves, and to see all of our hard work come together.”

A total of 51 teams from 23 countries qualified for the World Finals for F1 in Schools.

Brentwood's Interstellar M1 team previously competed in the spring at the super regional in Manhattan, N.Y., winning the grand championship along with four other awards. The group then placed third at the F1 in Schools national finals in June in Austin, Texas.

Casey, Dryburgh (volleyball, basketball, track) and Davis (football, swimming, track) are multi-sport athletes at Brentwood. Kellner competes in track in the spring; Powell participated in volleyball in high school.

Casey (cross country), Dryburgh (volleyball) and Davis (football) saw their fall athletic season interrupted by the F1 in Schools world championships.

Ray Fisher is a freelance writer.

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