COLLEGE STATION, Texas — After a historical performance at NCAA Championships, junior Shaine Casas was named the College Swimming and Diving Coaches Association of America (CSCAA) Division-I Men's Swimmer of the Year, as the organization announced award winners and All-Americans for the 2020-21 season Tuesday morning. Casas became Texas A&M's first men’s national champion and finished the week with three individual top finishes as he helped the Texas A&M men's swimming & diving team match its best team finish at NCAA Championships. In total, nine Aggies tallied 25 All-America honors at the meet, while Casas became the first Aggie to earn the national swimmer of the year distinction.
Casas and the Aggies began NCAA Championships with a pair of school record-breaking performances in the 800 free relay and 200 free relay. Both teams lowered school records that were previously set at this year's SEC Championships, while Casas, who was the leadoff swimmer on both relays, took down his own 200 free school record (1:30.59) and clocked in at 19.02 in the 50 free to claim the school record in his ninth different event.
The McAllen, Texas native continued making history by stringing together three straight days of individual top finishes. In his first race of the meet he claimed gold in the 200 IM, clocking in at 1:39.53. The next day, Casas touched the wall first in the 100 back with a time of 44.20, before rounding out the week in a down-to-the-wire win in the 200 back. He took down his own school record in his final race, and his time of 1:35.75 stands as the second-fastest time in the history of the event, just two-one hundredths of a second off of Olympian Ryan Murphy's American record.
Casas set the tone for the season in his and the team's first chance to compete since the 2019 SEC Championships, lowering his own school records in both backstroke events and clocking the then-fourth-fastest time in the history of the 200 back. He tallied four automatic qualifying times for NCAA Championships in that opening weekend, eventually posting an A-cut time on 16 occasions across eight different events. He went on to record 18 school-record breaking performances throughout his third season in Aggieland. At SEC Championships Casas defended his 200 IM and 200 back titles, while helping a pair of relay teams to podium finishes. He concluded the meet earning the Commissioner's Trophy, given to the top point-earner of the meet, for the second straight season.
As a team, the Aggies finished 10th at NCAA Championships, marking the program's first top-10 finish since the 2001 season. A&M earned points from all five relay teams for the third time in program history and first time since the 2012 season. Casas was a key contributor on relays, swimming the leadoff leg on the four relays he was on and clocking three top-10 finishes.
The awards were determined by a nationwide vote of CSCAA-member Division I head swimming coaches and head diving coaches. One additional vote was determined by the public via online polling. The public agreed with coaches in all four awards. All-Americans were selected on the basis of their performance at the NCAA Championships.
All-American (2021/career) Event
Shaine Casas (7/20) 800 free relay, 200 free relay, 200 IM, 100 back, 200 back, 200 medley relay (HM), 400 medley relay (HM)
Mark Theall (6/15) 800 free relay, 200 free relay, 200 medley relay (HM), 200 free (HM), 100 free (HM), 400 free relay (HM)
Kaloyan Bratanov (4/6) 800 free relay, 200 free relay, 400 medley relay (HM), 400 free relay (HM)
Jace Brown (2/2) 200 medley relay (HM), 400 medley relay (HM)
Tanner Olson (2/2) 200 free relay, 200 medley relay (HM)
Clayton Bobo (1/4) 800 free relay
Carter Nelson (1/1) 400 free relay (HM)
Andres Puente (1/3) 400 medley relay (HM)
Elijah Sohn (1/1) 400 free relay (HM)