Andrew Casares of Edward Little/Leavitt competes in the 200-yard individual medley at the Class A state meet in February. Casares took first in the event and won another state title in the 100 butterfly. Derek Davis/Portland Press Herald

Andrew Casares has a simple summary for the boys Edward Little/Leavitt swimming season: “It was a blast.”

The Edward Little senior helped the Red Eddies achieve success and he won a pair of state championships and set school records. He also has been selected as the Sun Journal All-Region Boys Swimmer of the Year for the third consecutive season.

“From the get-go, we were swimming fast as a team, practices were going well and I was a big fan of (coach) Scott (Morrison’s) training cycle this year,” Casares, a three-year team captain, said. “Every meet, we just kind of got a little faster, no matter how tired we were or how much the season was beating down on us. It all really paid off at the end.”

Morrison said Casares worked well this winter with assistant coach Melissa Paione.

“Melissa really focused in on a couple of stroke techniques, in particular the breaststroke,” Morrison said. “That seemed to click for Andrew, and he saw a real pick up in speed that way. … It was a storybook season for him.”

Casares helped lead Edward Little/Leavitt to a KVAC championship — he was named Most Outstanding Male Swimmer — and a second-place finish at the Class A state championships.


He claimed state titles in the 200-yard individual medley and the 100-yard butterfly.

“It’s a heck of an honor,” Casares said. “Looking at that clock and seeing the number one next to your name is pretty exciting, and getting that medal. It’s such an honor, and I am really happy to represent EL such in a positive way, especially in my senior year.”

Individually, Casares set individual school records throughout the season, including the 200 individual medley (2:01.51) and the 100 butterfly (53.47). He briefly held the 100-yard breaststroke school record, which he set at the Lesley Martin and Chris Campbell Memorial Swim Meet, but his time was surpassed by teammate Chase Leonardo at the KVAC championships.

Even though it only lasted a week, Morrison enjoyed Casares breaking the breaststroke record because Casares hadn’t posted a fast time in that event prior to that race.

The 200 individual medley was a must-watch race at the end of the season, according to Morrison.

“My favorite race, honestly, was both at the Lewiston meet and again at the state meet when Chase and Andrew swam against each other in the 200 IM,” Morrison said. “To see those guys fighting against each other to go the fastest they could. They were 1-2 in the Lewiston meet — that wasn’t surprising — but at the state meet, they went 1-2. That was my most favorite race of the season.”


Casares singles out the state meet 200 IM was his favorite race of the season.

He said that Leonardo, a sophomore, was a constant source of motivation this season.

“It was great to push each other,” Casares said. “Chase is one of the hardest workers I ever met in the sport of swimming. I give that to him with the work he puts in every day. It’s great; it’s setting an example for the other kids on the team. It was really fun, I had that 100 breast record in a regular season meet and he took it at KVACs.

“It was really fun going back and forth. He ended up getting pretty close to me in the 200 individual medley, which was pretty fun.”

Casares and Leonard also were part of setting a pair of Edward Little relay records. They teamed with Gavin Holbrook and Issac Raymond to set the 200 medley relay (1:43.63) record. Casares, Leonardo, Holbrook and Jack Martel set a new 200 freestyle relay mark (1:35.56).

“It was an awesome experience,” Casares said of the records falling throughout the season. “Some of those came unexpected. Our 200 freestyle style record came in a regular season meet, and little things like that really boosted the team’s confidence. It got the kids really excited, whether they were on the relay or not.”

Next season Casares is off to the College of New Jersey — an NCAA Division III school — where he will continue his swimming career and study kinesiology.

“It absolutely stinks to lose someone of Andrew’s swimming caliber, but his moral character is even more important,” Morrison said. “He’s a (National Interscholastic Swim Coaches Association) Academic All-American. Not only he’s an amazing swimmer, but he’s an awesome student.”

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