Shaine Casas competes in a preliminary heat for the Men’s 200 Meter Backstroke during the 2021 U.S. Olympic Team Swim Trials on June 17, 2021 in Omaha, Neb.
Casas admitted that the first day of the competition, April 26, was “unnerving”. However, a day later he placed second in the men’s 200m backstroke to qualify for this summer’s 2022 FINA World Championships in Budapest, Hungary.
Casas finished in 1 minute 55.46 seconds, less than half a second behind Murphy, who won in 1:55.01. Casas left encouraged.
He thought viewers would be curious to see how he fared after deciding to turn pro instead of returning to Texas A&M for his senior season.
“The pressure was there. Going from amateur to professional, everyone is like, “Okay. What is this guy going to do? I was happy to get the ticket (for the world championships),” said Casas, who will make his world championship debut in Hungary.
“The times weren’t crazy at this competition, and I feel like I can’t really step into the moment and get upset because ultimately the goal was to make the team. So I did. Obviously, I would have liked to be part of the team in a few more events, but I can’t control things that aren’t myself.
A day after his second-place finish in the 200m backstroke, Casas took third place in the men’s 50m backstroke in 24 seconds. Her performance was eclipsed by Armstrong, who won in 23.71 seconds to set a new world record. Still, Casas said he was happy with the way he swam.
“Obviously you can’t do much when the guy next to you breaks the world record, so that was awesome. I’m pumped for him, pumped for myself, pumped for the future,” he said. Casas said “I think this meeting was just the beginning.
“I think people may have forgotten that I just moved to Texas so it won’t be there right away and even (coach) Eddie Reese may have forgotten that a bit. He’s been a bit nervous, but I’m excited. I think I have a great future in this sport as long as I want it, and I’m ready to do anything to get there.
Casas admitted it can be frustrating to see other swimmers post faster times than him, but he tries to be patient. He said he will eventually reach “that level”.
“It’s just one step at a time. I understand it’s not a four-year college career anymore,” Casas said. “It’s as long as I swim, so I’ll just take it one step at a time and enjoy my time swimming.”