2019 Art Adamson Invite: Night One Finals Live Recap


  • Thursday, November 21 – Saturday, November 23, 2019
  • Texas A&M Natatorium, College Station, Texas
  • Prelims 10 AM / Finals 6 PM (U.S. Central Time)
  • Prelims Long Course Meters (LCM) format
  • Finals Short Course Yards (SCY) format
  • Live results


  1. USC – 1:27.41
  2. Stanford – 1:28.88
  3. Texas A&M – 1:29.63

The USC Trojans were not messing around to kick off the session, taking care of business with a huge win in the 200 free relay.

USC got well under the NCAA ‘A’ automatic cut (in fact, doing so by over a full second), and had three 21-splits follow Laticia Transom‘s 22.31 lead-off. Jemma Schlicht was fastest with a 21.59, followed by a 21.84 from Tatum Wade and a 21.67 anchor from Louise Hansson.

Stanford, who is notably without the redshirting Taylor Ruck, was well back at 1:28.88, missing the A cut. Lauren Pitzer opened with a 22.72, followed by a nice 21.71 split from Amalie Fackenthal, a 22.52 from Brooke Stenstrom, and a 21.93 anchor from Anya Goeders. On Stanford’s B relay, which touched in fourth, Lucie Nordmann was 22.32 on the second leg.

A&M grabbed third at 1:29.63, missing the provisional standard, but getting a 21.78 anchor from Raena Eldridge.


  1. Texas A&M – 1:17.21
  2. USC – 1:18.12
  3. Hawaii – 1:18.83

The Aggies wound up with a huge win on the men’s side, finishing in 1:17.21 as the only team under the NCAA ‘B’ cut and coming just four hundredths from the ‘A’ cut. Shaine Casas was 19.54 leading off, then it was Adam Koster with a brilliant 18.93 leg to push the Aggies way in front. Clayton Bobo (19.49) and Mike Thibert (19.25) finished things off for them.

Results showed a 20.30 lead-off for Nikola Miljenic and an 18.82 second-leg from Thomas Finello, but given that Miljenic was nearly a full second quicker this morning in long course (22.44 to 23.33), it seems their names might’ve been swapped on the results page. In any case, freshman Jan Collazo Torres was 19.77 on the third leg and Alexei Sancov anchored in 18.23.

Hawai’i also broke 1:19, edging the Stanford men for third with a 1:18.83 to Stanford’s 1:19.25. ‘aukai Lileikis had a sharp 19.35 anchor for Hawai’i, while Stanford was led by senior Will Macmillan‘s 19.47 anchor. Just a tenth back from Stanford was A&M’s B relay, which enjoyed a 19.69 lead-off from Mark Theall and a 19.34 second leg from Kaloyan Bratanov.


  1. Katie Drabot (Stanford) – 4:35.84
  2. Brooke Forde (Stanford) – 4:36.31
  3. Lauren Pitzer (Stanford) – 4:38.57

The Stanford women were incredibly strong in the 500 free after losing the 200 free relay, with six women in the A-final. They swept the podium, too, with four A-finalists and their B-final winner all going faster than last year’s invite time.

Katie Drabot was the winner tonight, going 4:35.84 with Brooke Forde close behind in 4:36.31. Lauren Pitzer completed the podium sweep, adding a 4:38.57, her 26.75 final 50 the fastest finishing lap of the field.

Hawai’i’s Phoebe Hines broke up the Stanford dominance, claiming fourth with a 4:39.07, with Stanford’s Erin Voss grabbing fifth in 4:40.12. Stanford junior Katie Glavinovich ran away with the B-final race, going 4:40.15 to take that win and go eight-tenths quicker than last year’s invite time.


  1. Mark Theall (Texas A&M) – 4:12.19
  2. Grant Shoults (Stanford) – 4:12.74
  3. Victor Johansson (USC) – 4:18.22

The race was on between Texas A&M’s Mark Theall and Stanford’s Grant Shoults. The two shot out to early leads, with Theall ahead, before Shoults began creeping up on him. Going into the 350 turn, Shoults had built a lead with a 25.29 to 26.41 delta on the previous 50. Then, Theall was 25.28 to Shoults’s 25.64 at the 400 wall. Theall dropped to 25.12 to Shoults’s 25.72, and it was Theall at the wall with a 4:12.19, able to get the job done.

For Shoults, who is coming off of a January shoulder surgery that kept him out of racing through late June, this is a huge swim. It’s actually his eighth-best performance ever and less than three seconds from his best. Theall, meanwhile, continues his progression as one of the top mid-distance freestylers in the country, and hits a new best time. It’s a modest five-tenths drop, but only his second time under 4:16.

USC’s Victor Johansson (4:18.22) and Stanford freshman Andrew Matejka  (4:19.37) were the only other men under 4:20 tonight.


  1. Louise Hansson (USC) – 1:56.17
  2. Tatum Wade (USC) – 1:56.48
  3. Nicole Pavlopoulou (USC)/Allie Szekeley (Stanford) – 1:57.84

While Texas A&M’s Caroline Theil had the fastest time in long course prelims, things were very different tonight in yards. With double the pullouts and underwaters, some swimmers were clearly more impressive in yards, like the Trojans who went 1-2-3.

Louise Hansson sailed to the win off of a 53.18 first 100, actually getting caught by Tatum Wade at the 150 mark before pulling away with a 27.58 final 50. Hansson was 1:56.17, just ahead of Wade’s 1:56.48. USC freshman Nicole Pavlopoulou snagged third in a tie with Stanford’s Allie Szekeley (1:57.84).


  1. Shaine Casas (Texas A&M) – 1:40.16
  2. Alexei Sanvoc (USC) – 1:43.92
  3. Kaloyan Bratanov (Texas A&M) – 1:45.19

Shaine Casas was invincible tonight, going out in an absurd 46.41 front-half before splitting a 29.20 on the breaststroke leg. He came barrelling down to the finish in a 24.55, winning the event with a 1:40.16. That’s a gigantic drop from his own pool record, which was previously a 1:42.29 from the 2019 NCAA Championships, and his time tonight would’ve placed fourth at that meet last year.

Casas’s time checks him in as the #10 performer in history. His splits were 21.17, 25.24, 29.20, 24.55, with the fly split really hard to comprehend; he did say this summer that he’s a butterflier, “it just hasn’t come out yet.” He was just off the 21.03 that American record-holder Caeleb Dressel led off his record swim with, and his back leg was also within two-tenths of Dressel.

Alexei Sancov of USC was 1:43.92 for second with Casas’s teammate Kaloyan Bratanov claiming third (1:45.19).


  1. Amalie Fackenthal (Stanford) – 22.25
  2. Jemma Schlicht (USC) – 22.30
  3. Laticia Transom (USC) – 22.34

Stanford got back into the win column on the women’s side with sophomore Amalie Fackenthal collecting a win with a 22.25, edging out USC’s Jemma Schlict (22.30) and Laticia Transom (22.34). Fackenthal’s teammate Anya Goeders was right there at 22.35, with Aggie Emma Carlton in fifth at 22.53.


  1. Adam Koster (Texas A&M) – 19.49
  2. Nikola Miljenic (USC) – 19.64
  3. Kaloyan Bratanov (Texas A&M) – 19.78

The Aggie men fed off of the energy from Casas’s electric swim, as Adam Koster edged out USC’s Nikola Miljenic, 19.49 to 19.64.

Meanwhile, Kaloyan Bratanov, 10-15 minutes after claiming third in the 200 IM, dove in and rocked a new best of 19.78 for another third-place effort here in the 50. USC sophomore Thomas Finello also had a break-out swim, dipping under 20 seconds for the first time ever to hit a 19.93 for fourth.

In the B-final, Hawai’i’s ‘aukei Lileikis dropped a big 19.70 for the win, which would’ve taken third in the A-final.


  1. Stanford – 3:31.72
  2. USC – 3:32.02
  3. Texas A&M – 3:34.20

Stanford and USC were neck-and-neck in this race, with USC’s Louise Hansson out-splitting Stanford’s Alexandra Crisera, 52.43 to 52.46 on back, before Stanford’s Allie Raab (59.46) took the lead over USC’s Nicole Pavlopoulou (1:00.54). Stanford’s Amalie Fackenthal went about even with USC’s Jemma Schlicht, 51.56 to 51.66, while Lauren Pitzer (48.18) just held off a charging Laticia Transom (47.39).

A&M grabbed third, led by Emma Carlton‘s 51.87 fly leg.

Stanford notched 3:34’s with both their B and C relay as did USC’s B relay. Isa Odgers‘ 59.50 breast leg on the Trojan B relay would’ve put their A over Stanford’s.


  1. Texas A&M – 3:06.68
  2. Stanford – 3:10.71
  3. USC – 3:11.37

Shaine Casas led off with a 45.57 for the Aggies, and they never looked back. They turned in a time of 3:06.68, getting a 52.44 breast leg from Benjamin Walker, a 46.52 on fly from Adam Koster, and a 42.15 anchor from Mark Theall.

Hawai’i, meanwhile, went 3:09.27 to appear to deny both Stanford (3:10.71) and USC (3:11.37) before they were actually DQ’d. Stanford had a shining 51.33 breast leg from Hank Poppe, but their dearth of sprint talent showed, as they had to use distance specialist Grant Shoults on their anchor (44.17).

USC’s big leg was on fly, where Alexei Sancov had the best split of the night at 45.79.



  1. Stanford – 414.50
  2. Texas A&M – 303
  3. USC – 234.5
  4. Hawai’i – 111
  5. LSU – 31


  1. Texas A&M – 412
  2. USC – 203
  3. Stanford – 201
  4. Hawai’i – 163
  5. Air Force – 108
  6. LSU – 30

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Ol' Longhorn

Casas has a surprisingly (at least to me) good breastroke. 34.5 ain’t too shabby.

Sko Bows

‘aukai is a hammah

Daeleb Cressel

Casas 1:40.1!

About Karl Ortegon

Karl Ortegon

Karl Ortegon studied sociology at Wesleyan University in Middletown, CT, graduating in May of 2018. He began swimming on a club team in first grade and swam four years for Wesleyan.

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