Gabe Castano Breaks Mexican 50 FR Record Twice At PSS San Antonio, Top Prelims Seed at 21.67


26-year-old Gabe Castano, training at Texas Ford Aquatics, broke his own 2021 Mexican national record twice in the last three days during the last prelims session of the 2024 Pro Swim Series in San Antonio. Castano leads the men’s 50 free prelims with a 21.67, a narrow one one-hundredth over American Ryan Held (21.68).

Castano’s previous record time of 22.01 has stood since June 2021 from the Fran Crippen Swim Meet of Champions.

Castano’s first record break was during Thursday evening’s offered time trials session, where he first broke the 22-second barrier and his own national record at 21.81, an exact two-tenths drop.

He then tore up Saturday morning’s prelims session with a 21.67 to drop 0.14s more off his unofficial record. That time ties him for 4th in the World next to Sweden’s Bjorn Seelinger.

2023-2024 LCM Men 50 Free

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Previously in the 2023-24 season, Castano was hitting 22-point’s left and right. Two months ago at a February LC Time Trial with Texas Ford, Castano put up promising swims of 22.20 and 22.11.

Castano’s 50 FR Progression — 2024 Calendar Year

  • 22.20 — TFA LC Time Trial, 2/11/24
  • 22.11 — TFA LC Time Trial, 2/11/24
  • 21.81 — 2024 PSS San Antonio Time Trial, 4/11/24
  • 21.67 — 2024 PSS San Antonio Prelims, 4/13/24**

Originally reported by Sophie Kaufman.


  • World Record: 20.91 — Cesar Cielo Filho, Brazil  (2009)
  • American Record: 21.04 —  Caeleb Dressel (2019)
  • Pro Swim Series Record: 21.51 —  Caeleb Dressel, United States (2020)
  • U.S Open Record: 21.04 —  Caeleb Dressel, United States (2021)

Top 8 Qualifiers: 

  1. Gabe Castano (TFA) — 21.67
  2. Ryan Held (NYAC) — 21.68
  3. Santo Condorelli (DM) — 21.95
  4. Jonny Kulow (UN) — 22.04
  5. Matt King (TFA) — 22.14
  6. Caeleb Dressel (GSC) — 22.16
  7. Jack Dolan (UN) — 22.18
  8. Michael Andrew (MASA) / Koko Bratanov (TFA) — 22.32 *Swim-Off Required*

In the final heat, Gabe Castano had a huge swim, surging to the fastest qualifying time in 21.67. Representing Texas Ford Aquatics, Castano–who swims for Mexico internationally–ripped 21.67. It’s his second personal best in the event at this meet: during time trials earlier, he went 21.81, breaking 22 seconds for the first time and resetting his Mexican national record.

He lowered the record again here; over the course of the meet he’s taken .34 seconds off the mark and still has another crack at it tonight. Before this meet his best (and record) stood at 22.01 from June 2021.

He earned lane 4 by a hundredth ahead of Ryan Held. The veteran sprinter for the U.S. turned in first sub-22 outing of the season in 21.68, which is only .18 seconds off his personal best 21.50 from June 2023. This swim ties the time he went in at the Fukuoka Worlds swim-off for a spot in the final.

Santo Condorelli clocked 21.95 for third, joining Castano and Held under 22 seconds this morning.

There will be a swim-off for lane 8 in the final, as Michael Andrew and Koko Bratanov tied in 22.32.

In the early heats, Ilya Kharun broke 23 seconds for the first time. He dropped .65 seconds, swimming 22.66.

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Coach MM
1 month ago

Coley Stickels magic!

Reply to  Coach MM
1 month ago

He coached 4 of top 5 now or in past

1 month ago

The revolucíon will not be televised…

The revolucíon will be LIVE

Mr Piano
1 month ago

¡Viva México, cabrones!

1 month ago

I think that gives him the A cut, second olympic qualifier for Mexico

About Nick Pecoraro

Nick Pecoraro

Nick has had the passion for swimming since his first dive in the water in middle school, immediately falling for breaststroke. Nick had expanded to IM events in his late teens, helping foster a short, but memorable NCAA Div III swim experience at Calvin University. While working on his B.A. …

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