2021 TYR Pro Swim Series: Regan Smith and Shaine Casas Shine in 100 Fly

shaine-casas
Photo Courtesy: Craig Bisacre / Texas A&M Athletics

2021 TYR Pro Swim Series: Regan Smith and Shaine Casas Shine in 100 Fly

How many events will Regan Smith contest at the Olympic Trials in Omaha in June? That is one of the top questions floating around the sport. As the world-record holder in both backstroke events, those disciplines are obviously going to be on her program. The 200 butterfly is another likely entry for the 18-year-old star.

What about the 100 butterfly?

While Smith will have to carefully weigh what events to include on her schedule for Omaha to ensure she isn’t overloaded, the 100 fly figures to get a long look. During Friday night’s TYR Pro Swim Series stop in San Antonio, Smith had no trouble winning that event, as she touched in 58.55. Second place went to Olivia Bray in 59.16, with Beata Nelson going 59.44 for third.

“It’s been so long so it was a little funky,” Regan Smith said. “I’m really glad we got this first day one to get into things. I’m happy backstroke starts tomorrow so I’m happy we shook the rust off and got back into the groove of things.”

If Smith, indeed, opts to contest the 100 butterfly at Trials, the event will grow in hype. Five months away from Trials, the 100 fly is expected to feature a showdown between Team USA veteran Kelsi Dahlia and rising stars Claire Curzan and Torri Huske. Add Smith to the mix and the intrigue only grows. Smith had control from the start in San Antonio. She touched at the midway point in 27.35 and also had the fastest split on the second 50, which she covered in 31.20.

It might be time to add Shaine Casas’ name to the list of United States Olympic contenders in the 100-meter butterfly. Already chasing berths to this summer’s Olympic Games in Tokyo in the backstroke events, Casas turned in a swim on Friday night that has enhanced his status as a potential qualifier in another stroke.

Racing at the TYR Pro Series stop in San Antonio, Casas claimed the 100 butterfly in comfortable fashion, touching the wall in 51.94. That time handed Casas a decisive win over Danny Kovac, who touched in 52.84. However, Coleman Stewart earned second place overall, thanks to his 52.19 showing from the Richmond site.

“I thought it was pretty good. I had a best time in the morning and almost a best at night. It was nothing crazy going on,” Casas said at the end of the night at the TYR Pro Swim Series. “I felt like I had a little left in the tank but it’s January so I’m not upset.”

“I still have that age group mentality where every meet I put a suit on that I want to go a best time. If I don’t, then it’s not a big deal. It’s just a step in the process. Since it’s been such a long time and I’ve made major improvements in my stroke I was expecting some pretty good times. I’m definitely gearing for something really special here.”

A standout at Texas A&M, Casas has flourished over the last few months, particularly in the short-course pool. Now, he has added a personal-best effort in the 100 butterfly to his ledger, with Casas actually going slightly quicker in the prelims with a time of 51.91. By going sub-52 at this point in the season, Casas has certainly put himself in contention in the 100 fly for the Olympic Trials.

“I’m always thinking how my swims are going to convert long course. I was 43.8 in November in the 100 back. I’m super curious for these next couple months through Trials and God willing the Olympics. We will just see what happens from here.”

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