Three Aggies ranked in Swimming World Top 25 ahead of championships

Published: Feb. 4, 2021 at 8:22 PM CST|Updated: Feb. 4, 2021 at 10:22 PM CST
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COLLEGE STATION, TEXAS -- Three Aggies were ranked in the most recent top 25 rankings according to Swimming World Magazine ahead of the championship portion of the swimming & diving season. Junior Shaine Casas claimed the top spot after an impressive dual meet season that saw him lower four of his own school records and set a number of top 10 all-time times in short course yards competition. Despite only being able to compete in three individual events, Casas has already automatically qualified for NCAA Championships in six different events, while also helping the 200 free and 200 medley relay teams record A-cut times.

Senior Mark Theall and freshman Chloe Stepanek were also recognized by the outlet, as Theall moved up to No. 17 on the men’s side and Stepanek came in at No. 24 on the women’s side. Theall posted a pair of top-three times in the nation during the dual meet portion of the schedule and lowered his own 500 free school record. He is also a member of the 200 free and 200 medley relay teams that have qualified for NCAA Championships. Stepanek has had a very impressive collegiate debut and is only expected to get better during championships. She posted five top-25 times nationally during invite season and has tallied more than 10 first-place finishes this year.What they’re saying…

No. 1 Shaine Casas: “Casas could really swim any event at NCAAs and be a national title favorite from both backstrokes to both IMs to the 100 fly. Anywhere A&M puts Casas, he will deliver, and that is why he is our number one ranked swimmer with seven weeks to go until NCAAs. It really could be a toss-up between Casas and Smith at this point, but Casas gets the nod due to his inane ability to seemingly never have a bad swim. Casas has the top ranked time in the country in the 200 IM and both backstroke events.”

No. 17 Mark Theall: “Theall made headlines in 2019 with his insane time drops from high school, coming out as a 1:40 200 freestyler and developing into a 1:31 relay swimmer in two seasons at A&M (he transferred after one year at UNLV). Theall is now one of the top middle distance guys in the country and has played a big role in Texas A&M’s rise to the top ten. Theall set a best time in the 500 this season and is ranked third in both the 500 and 200 free.”

No. 24 Chloe Stepanek: “Stepanek has transitioned nicely to life at Texas A&M, registering the third-fastest time in the country in the 100 free and is also proving herself to be reliable for the Aggies on relays. A&M is looking to get back to the national top four and at the top of the SEC and Stepanek is definitely a key centerpiece in place for the Aggies moving forward.”