Former McAllen High and current Texas A&M swimmer Shaine Casas continues to impress around the world.
Casas, who just concluded his freshman year on the Aggies’ heralded swim team, was named to USA Swimming’s 18-and-Under team last month for the Mare Nostrum swim series, with three meets around the Mediterranean Sea in June annually. The Mare Nostrum held one of its series of meets Tuesday and Wednesday in Canet-en-Roussillon, France, and has another meet in Barcelona, Spain, on Saturday and Sunday. The first meet was held June 8-9 in Monaco.
Only the highest-ranked 18-and-under USA athletes qualify for the Mare Nostrum, regardless of National Team or National Junior Team status.
Casas, on Wednesday, finished second for Team USA in the 100-yard backstroke in 54.69 seconds, the second-fastest time of his career. His best time is 54.51, which he set last summer in nationals. USA’s Michael Andrew finished first in the event, while Guilherme Guido, a two-time Olympian and short-course specialist, finished third in 54.78.
Casas was the only swimmer in the field to swim a sub-28 coming back, splitting a 27.74. He jumped from fifth to second in the final 50 yards, overtaking Guido down the stretch. Andrew did a split of 28.12 coming back.
Casas had a phenomenal freshman year with the Aggies. He became the third Texas A&M freshman swimmer to score individual points at the NCAA Championships and the first to do it in two events (200 IM and 200 fly).
He was named to the All-SEC second team in the 800 free relay and 400 medley relay, plus the SEC All-Freshman team in the 200 backstroke. He was also an honorable mention All-American in the 200 IM.
During the 2018-19 season, the Aggies broke 11 school records, with Casas setting two individual records — the 200 back (1 minutes, 39.84 seconds), the 200 IM (1:42.29) and four relays (200 free relay, 800 free relay, 200 medley relay, and 400 medley relay).
Casas’ schedule for the summer still has a more meets, among them a sectional with his Texas A&M swim club team, as well as nationals at Stanford, his mom, Monica Eppling, said.