Casas Goes 45.9 Back on Night 2 of Art Adamson Invite


  • November 14-16, 2018
  • College Station, TX (Texas A&M Natatorium)
  • SCY
  • Live results

Within a day of breaking 47 for the first time ever, Texas A&M freshman Shaine Casas broke 46 in the 100 back, leading an impressive night for the Aggie men at the Art Adamson Invite.

200 Medley Relay – Timed Finals

Hawaii kicked off the night by winning the 200 medley relay in a breakthrough performance that is faster than the school’s season-best last year. Hawaii was 1:38.35, getting a 24.30 backstroke split from Karolina Hajkova to grab an early lead. That split is better than 7 of the 16 splits on NCAA scoring relays at last year’s NCAA finals. Kionna Clayton was 28.21 on breast, Lucia Lassman a field-best 23.58 on fly and Kasey Schmidt 22.26 on freestyle.

LSU finished second in 1:39.05, nearly running down Hawaii with a 22.06 split from senior anchor Haylee Knight. Texas A&M would have been 1:38.0, but was disqualified on a false start by anchor Claire RasmusBreaststroker Anna Belousova was an exciting 26.79 on her split, though, faster than the graduated Jorie Caneta was on this relay at NCAAs last year.

For the men, Texas A&M hit the NCAA’s provisional cut in 1:24.83 – that means A&M will be able to enter this relay at NCAAs as long as they hit a qualifying standard in a different relay or qualify four individuals. Freshman Shaine Casas started a banner night by leading off in 21.46, with Benjamin Walker (23.78 breast), Angel Martinez (20.57) and Adam Koster (19.02) all putting up outstanding splits. The Aggies are within seven tenths of matching their best time from last season despite graduating two key legs from that relay. The Aggies lead the nation by a longshot in this relay, though that’s partially by virtue of the other invites being a day behind in the NCAA meet order and not swimming this event until Friday.

Hawaii was 1:27.08 for second, getting a 20.7 fly split from Mateusz Chaba.

400 IM – Finals

Aggie senior Sydney Pickrem surged to an NCAA-leading 4:01.73 in the 400 IM. That’s within three seconds of the time she went at NCAAs last spring, taking 3rd overall. Pickrem crushed the field by nearly six seconds, putting up an especially massive 1:07.6 split on breaststroke and closing in 56.5 on free.

Teammate Monika Gonzalez was second in 4:07.51, which should be under the NCAA invite time. Aggie sophomore Camryn Toney might be just outside the cut line for now, going 4:10.22. (It took 4:09.75 to be invited last year).

For the men, Benjamin Walker matched his big morning swim with a 3:47.39 to win at night. He was 1:02.7 on breaststroke to really put distance between himself and teammate Alberto Gomez, who was second. Gomez, part of a nationally-ranked freshman class for A&M, was 3:50.12, a drop of about a second from his previous best.

100 Fly – Finals

LSU’s Haylee Knight came off her great medley relay split to go 52.17, winning the fly over Hawaiis’ Lucia Lassman (52.62). Knight is now seven tenths faster than she was at SECs last year, and having an absolute blowout meet here after winning the 50 free on day 1. Lassman is only a tenth behind her season-best from last year, and both should be right on the cusp of NCAA invite status.

For the men, Texas A&M’s Angel Martinez went 46.23, which should stack up inside the top 5 swims in the nation this year, at least until the results of other invites this weekend become official. Martinez cut more than a second from prelims and beat out the freshman Shaine Casas (46.70) for the win. Both are still a tick off of NCAA invite status (45.89 last year), but NCAA scoring level (45.70 last year) was only a tiny bit faster than the invite time last season.

200 Free – Finals

Texas A&M’s Claire Rasmus won the 200 free in 1:44.22, using a great final split to hold off a challenge from teammate Katie Portz (1:45.19). Portz is just off the NCAA invite time from last year but should be in good shape to qualify at SECs, if she doesn’t book an early invite in another event.

Hawaii’s Phoebe Hines was 1:45.70 for third, crushing her old personal-best by 2.3 seconds.

Another A&M men’s freshman won the 200 free: Clayton BoboAfter an outstanding morning swim, Bobo chipped another eight tenths off his best time to go 1:34.41. Bobo was considered more of a 50/100 specialist coming out of high school with a developmental 200 free. But he’s developed in a hurry, and now ranks 2nd in the nation this season (barring, of course, results of this weekend’s other invites).

Aggies swept the top 4 spots in that race, foreshadowing a killer 800 free relay to end the night.

100 Breast – Finals

Pickrem came off her 400 IM win to beat out Anna Belousova in the 100 breast. Pickrem was 59.30 and Belousova 59.33. Those are solid swims, as only two swimmers in the nation had broken 59 this season prior to this weekend.

Hawaii’s Olli Kokko won the men’s race in 52.70, which would be right on the bubble for an NCAA invite based on last year’s numbers. Kokko is a tenth behind what he went by the end of last season, a great start to his junior campaign.

Texas A&M’s Benjamin Walker went 53.60 for second, with teammate Tanner Olson 53.62 for third.

100 Back – Finals

Hawaii made it two in a row with a 52.39 win from sophomore Karoline Hajkova. That would have been under last year’s NCAA invite time, and is a half-second faster than Hajkova’s career-best, put up with the Miami Hurricanes last spring.

Boise State took second and third with Ally Kleinsorgen (52.88) and Abbey Sorenson (53.95). This continues to be the weakest point for A&M’s medley relays, as their top finisher was fourth-place Sarah Metzsch in 53.97.

Shaine Casas‘ third swim of the night was a monster: a 45.99 in the 100 back that would have ranked 3rd nationally prior to this weekend. Casas was just 47.12 coming out of high school, broke 47 for the first time in prelims and then broke 46 for the first time in finals. He’s proving to be a massive pickup, and is already just .06 off of NCAA scoring range from last year in this race.

LSU’s Karl Luht was second in 47.19.

800 Free Relay – Timed Finals

Texas A&M finished the night with a win in the women’s 800 free relay, going 7:04.47. That included a 1:45.5 split from Katie Portz to go with straight 1:46s from Sydney Pickrem, Haley Yelle and Claire RasmusOnly Louisville has been faster in this relay so far this season.

The Aggie men were extremely impressive in this relay. Their 6:20.46 leads the NCAA by 17 seconds at present – though, of course, most other teams haven’t swum this event at mid-season invites yet, and it’s not a common dual meet event. Still, the splits were very fast. The freshman Clayton Bobo led off in 1:34.94, junior Adam Koster was 1:34.87 and freshman Shaine Casas 1:34.78 in his fourth swim of the session. Angel Martinez split 1:35.87 to round out the relay. A&M is already five seconds faster than last year’s season-best in this relay, owing to the additions of Casas and Bobo.

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About Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson swam for nearly twenty years. Then, Jared Anderson stopped swimming and started writing about swimming. He's not sick of swimming yet. Swimming might be sick of him, though. Jared was a YMCA and high school swimmer in northern Minnesota, and spent his college years swimming breaststroke and occasionally pretending …

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