SwimSwam Pulse: 100 Back Most Intriguing Men’s Battle Looming At U.S. World Trials

SwimSwam Pulse is a recurring feature tracking and analyzing the results of our periodic A3 Performance Polls. You can cast your vote in our newest poll on the SwimSwam homepage, about halfway down the page on the right side.

Our most recent poll asked SwimSwam readers which race on the men’s side they’re most interested in at the upcoming U.S. National Championships:

Question: Which men’s event (where the U.S. has 3+ world-class swimmers) is most intriguing at Trials?


  • 100 back – 38.4%
  • 200 IM – 26.0%
  • 100 fly – 22.6%
  • 200 free – 11.0%
  • Other – 2.0%

There’s a consistent theme among the three most intriguing men’s events at U.S. Nationals this year: Shaine Casas.

Casas has solidified himself as one of the most versatile talents in the country, but we’ve yet to truly see his skillset on full display on the major international long course stage.

Between the 2021 Olympic Trials and the 2022 International Team Trials, Casas has only stepped onto the blocks once—every other time he jumped in for a backstroke start. His lone non-backstroke swim came last year in the 100 fly, clocking a 51.75 prelim swim before dropping the final.

Many were left scratching their heads, not only with that withdrawal, but with him completely opting out of the 200 IM.

Later in the summer, after winning bronze in the 200 back, the Texas-trained pro’s lone event of the 2022 World Championships, Casas fired off times of 50.40 in the 100 fly and 1:55.24 in the 200 IM at U.S. Nationals, both of which were fast enough to win silver in Budapest.

That brings us to this summer’s Nationals, the U.S. qualifying meet for the World Championships, where Casas’ event schedule will be something everyone has an eye on.

His presence in the 200 IM and 100 fly, both events he could legitimately vie for the world title, make them two of the men’s most intriguing events, as evidenced by our recent poll, where they finished second and third, with 26 and 22.6 percent of the votes, respectively.

The top event with more than 38 percent of the vote is the 100 back, which has historically been an incredibly deep event for the American men.

In between Worlds and Nationals last summer, Casas produced a personal best time of 52.51 in the 100 back (he was fourth at Trials in 53.01), which puts him in the hunt for a berth on the U.S. team this summer.

Last year, Hunter Armstrong (52.20) and Ryan Murphy (52.46) went 1-2 at U.S. Trials to qualify for Worlds, and then both men cracked 52 seconds in Budapest, with Murphy (51.97) earning silver and Armstrong (51.98) taking bronze behind the world record-setting Thomas Ceccon (51.60).

Placing third at the Trials was Justin Ress (52.73), who went on to win the world title in the 50 back, and there were five other Americans who were under 54 seconds last year, including NAG record-breaker Daniel Diehl.

Diehl set a lifetime best of 53.07 in December at the age of 17, and only adds to the excitement in the men’s 100 back later this month in Indianapolis.

In the 200 IM, Carson Foster is the big favorite as the reigning World Championship silver medalist, though Casas has been faster and poses a significant threat to his training partner should he swim it (from the outside looking in, there’s no reason not to given that it’s on the last day of the meet).

Chase Kalisz and potentially Michael Andrew could also play a role in the 200 IM, while in the 100 fly, Caeleb Dressel headlines the field in his return to competition, while Casas and Andrew will also be right in the thick of things.

The 200 free only picked up 11 percent of votes, perhaps losing a bit of its luster given that the top four will automatically qualify for Worlds and the fifth and sixth-place finishers will likely get added.

In that race, Kieran SmithDrew KiblerLuke Hobson and Foster lead the field, and there have been six others under 1:47 since the beginning of 2022.

Below, vote in our new A3 Performance Pollwhich asks: Who is your top breakout candidate this summer among last year’s junior stars:

Which 2022 Junior Pan Pac champion is your top breakout candidate on the senior stage this summer?

View Results

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A3 Performance is an independently-owned, performance swimwear company built on a passion for swimming, athletes, and athletic performance. We encourage swimmers to swim better and faster at all ages and levels, from beginners to Olympians.  Driven by a genuine leader and devoted staff that are passionate about swimming and service, A3 Performance strives to inspire and enrich the sport of swimming with innovative and impactful products that motivate swimmers to be their very best – an A3 Performer.

The A3 Performance Poll is courtesy of A3 Performance, a SwimSwam partner.

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3 months ago

There’s no way in hell MA is swimming the 200IM

Swim Alchemist
3 months ago

His 50 back is great, possibly his best event, but he has a mountain to hurdle for one spot against Armstrong and Ress. Not sure how his 50 fly is, but, again, he has to get by Andrew and Dressel. He should focus on the other events and the schedule works out perfectly for him for that:

Day 1: 100 free
Day 2: 200 back
Day 3: 100 fly
Day 4: 100 back
Day 5: 200 IM

It practically couldn’t be any better.

Summer is Titmus’ Sleep Paralysis Demon
Reply to  Swim Alchemist
3 months ago

What’s his best 100fr time? And when?

3 months ago

1. Armstrong 52.1
2. Cases 52.3
3. Murphy 52.4

About James Sutherland

James Sutherland

James swam five years at Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario, specializing in the 200 free, back and IM. He finished up his collegiate swimming career in 2018, graduating with a bachelor's degree in economics. In 2019 he completed his graduate degree in sports journalism. Prior to going to Laurentian, James swam …

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