Casas breaks pool record, Aggies upset Buckeyes

Shaine Casas poses at his home Thursday, Aug 8, 2019, in Mission. (Joel Martinez | jmartinez@themonitor.com)

STAFF REPORTS

Shaine Casas does it again.

Casas, the former McAllen High and current Texas A&M sophomore swimmer, continues to impress around the world.

This time, Casas surpassed Olympic swimmer Aaron Peirsol’s 2007 pool record of 54.89 with his 54.43 performance in the 100-meter backstroke Saturday at the Rec Center Natatorium in College Station to help the No. 11 Texas A&M Aggies men’s swimming and diving team upset the No. 5 Ohio State Buckeyes.

And it was a down-to-the-wire, 153-147 finish for the Aggies.

“I haven’t quite experienced that yet, being at Texas A&M. It was a great experience for us as a team” Casas said about the victory. “Individually, I learned a lot and there’s still a long process we’re going to need to go through.”

Casas placed first in every event he participated in at the meet against Ohio State, including the 200 medley relay (1:27.37), 100 back (48.04), 200 back (1:44.78) and 100 fly (47.73).

“Shaine knew coming in that he’s going to have to win his events,” Texas A&M Swimming head coach Jay Holms said. “Normally we’d put him in the IM, but we put him in the 100 fly because somebody had to win that thing. Shaine did it, and Benjamin (Walker) had to win the 200 IM, which he did.”

According to SwimSwam.com, Casas’ record-breaking swim was the highlight of the long course meet. Swim Swam’s report states at the time of his record-setting swim, Piersol was the world record holder in that event, which he held for all but seven days over a 12-year period starting in 2004.

“I’m really excited, because this is a really talented team,” Casas said about the team’s win. “There’s a lot of great things we can do, and I’m excited to see what happens.”

Next up for Casas and the Aggies is a contest against No. 2 Texas at 6 p.m. Nov. 1 in the Rec Center Natatorium.

BREAKING RECORDS

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).

Earlier this year, Casas qualified for the Phillips 66 National Championships in California by setting a personal record in the qualifying round with a time of 53.26, shattering his previous record of 54.51, set last summer. Casas’ final time of 52.72 ranks him as seventh-fastest all-time for an American in the 100-meter backstroke, surpassing U.S. Olympic great Michael Phelps, who posted a 53.01 at the 2007 U.S. Nationals.