Shaine Casas Stuns With 1:40 in 200 IM at Art Adamson Invitational

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Shaine Casas won the 200 IM in the fastest time of the season. Photo Courtesy: Connor Trimble

In one of the most stunning early swims of the season, Texas A&M’s Shaine Casas put together a 1:40.16 in the 200 IM to win at the Art Adamson Invitational on Thursday.

Casas earned an automatic NCAA cut. It is by far the fastest time in the NCAA so far this season — and the time would have finished fourth at last year’s NCAA championships.

On the women’s side, USC started the Texas A&M Art Adamson Invitational in emphatic fashion.

The Trojans threw down a stunning swim to open the meet in the 200-yard free relay as Laticia Transom (Australia), Jemma Schlicht (Australia), Tatum Wade and Louise Hansson (Sweden) turned in a 1:27.41, easily an automatic qualifying time for the NCAA championships.

The time was easily the fastest in the NCAA this year, nearly two seconds ahead of the previous best until Tennessee beat that time at their invite.

Stanford’s Lauren Pitzer, Amalie Fackenthal, Brooke Stenstrom and Anya Goeders also had a strong swim in the event, finishing second in 1:28.88, nearly an “A” cut, but a provisional cut.

Stanford’s distance crew predictably took over in the 500 free as Katie Drabot (4:35.84), Brooke Forde (4:36.31) and Pitzer (4:38.57) went 1-2-3 in provisional cuts. Drabot was eight hundredths of a second away from an automatic cut.

USC had a 1-2-3 finish in the 200 IM as Swedish star Hansson won in 1:56.17, ahead of Wade (1:56.48) and Nicole Pavlopoulou, of Greece, (1:57.84) and Stanford’s Allie Szekely (1:57.84), who tied for third.

Texas A&M’s Jing Quah was disqualified for a false start.

Fackenthal won the 50 free in 22.25 ahead of Schlicht (22.30) and Transom (22.34), NCAA provisional cuts. Stanford’s Alex Crisera, Allie Raab, Fackenthal and Pitzer won the 400 medley relay (3:31.76).

Meanwhile, the Texas A&M men put together a near “A” cut in the 200 free relay as Casas, Adam Koster, Clayton Bobo and Mike Thibert won the event in 1:27.21 for a provisional cut, holding off USC (1:18.12).

Texas A&M’s Mark Theall won the men’s 500 free in 4:12.19, a provisional cut, holding off Stanford senior Grant Shoults (4:12.74).

Koster won the 50 freestyle in 19.49, an NCAA provisional cut.

Casas, Benjamin Walker, Koster and Theall won the 400 medley relay in 3:06.68, the fastest time in the NCAA this season.

It was an impressive finish to an impressive night for the Aggies.

But Shaine Casas completely stole the show on Thursday and will look for more big swims as the meet continues throughout the weekend.

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