Former College Superstar Shaine Casas Has Eyes On Olympic Redemption

May 8, 2024, 6:05 PM

Shaine Casas US Swimming Swim Team 2024 Paris Olympics...

DOHA, QATAR - FEBRUARY 16: Shaine Casas of Team United States competes in the Men's 100m Butterfly Heat 7 on day fifteen of the Doha 2024 World Aquatics Championships at Aspire Dome on February 16, 2024 in Doha, Qatar. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

(Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY – When Shaine Casas was swimming at Texas A&M as a national champion and 20-time All-American, most thought that he would be an eventual lock for the U.S. swim team and the 2020 Olympics.

After failing to make the cut three years ago, Casas is back looking for a ticket to Paris.

To the shock of many including himself, Casas fell just short of qualifying for the Tokyo Olympics at the 2020 USA Swimming Olympic Trials.

“I honestly couldn’t tell you what happened,” Casas said. “It just happened and I was in shock. I was standing there like, ‘I just missed the team.'”

In the Men’s 100-meter backstroke final, he was ahead of the world record time through the first 50 meters but underperformed in the back half and finished third. A sixth-place finish in the 200-meter backstroke erased any shot at an Olympic bid for the former Aggie.

Since then, Casas has stayed dedicated. He moved to Texas to train with Olympic swimming coach Eddie Reese.

Things started to click again for Casas and the medals started piling up.

At the 2021 World Championships, Casas made the final in all eight events he entered and medaled in six of them. Across three competitions in 2022, Casas walked away with three golds, two silvers, and three bronzes.

Casas said that Reese helped him gain a new perspective on the sport. He believes that his fresh outlook and work ethic will lead him toward Olympic success.

“The thing that Eddie (Reese) resparked is my interest and my excitement,” Casas said. “I think that’s what I needed. My thing is, as long as I’m working really hard, I know it’ll happen. I don’t know how or when. But I know it will happen. That’s my approach.”

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Chandler Holt is a co-host for the Jazz Notes podcast and a Digital Sports Producer for KSLSports.com, specializing in all things basketball and football. Follow Chandler on Twitter @ChandlerHoltKSL or on Threads @chandlerho1t.

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Former College Superstar Shaine Casas Has Eyes On Olympic Redemption