We’re midway via the ISL’s match #7. Listed here are 5 massive takeaways from at present’s motion:
1. Males’s Backstrokers Stepping Up for Cali
The Cali Condors are at present the league’s #1 workforce in our Energy Ranks. However the story for them hasn’t actually modified from final yr: an elite ladies’s roster that may drub any workforce within the league. Plus a males’s roster of Caeleb Dressel and… not a lot else.
Significantly, Cali’s ladies are averaging virtually 60 extra factors per match than every other workforce within the league. (London is the #2-scoring ladies’s roster within the league, and Cali’s ladies have already outscored them by 33.5 in someday of head-to-head motion). However the Condor males rank #7 out of 10 groups in common males’s scoring, regardless of having arguably the league’s finest male swimmer.
In the present day, although, noticed a pair optimistic developments for the Cali males, largely in backstroke. Radoslaw Kawecki received his third straight 200 again win, crushing the sector by 1.Three seconds and shifting to inside a tenth of a second of the ISL lead. The larger shock was ISL rookie Coleman Stewart, who received a serious upset within the 50 again for Cali, beating each the ISL record-holder (Guilherme Guido) and the 2020 ISL chief (Christian Diener), each from London.
2. Vekovishchev’s Two Key Relay Splits
London had some massive swims of its personal. Possibly essentially the most notable have been two sturdy relay splits from Mikhail Vekovishchev. The ISL rookie break up a field-best 45.94 on the lads’s free relay, even outsplitting Dressel as London took second general. Later within the meet, Vekovishchev really beat Dressel once more, going 49.42 on fly to finest Dressel’s break up by .01 as London’s B relay beat Cali’s A relay.
Vekovishchev additionally hit a season-best 21.33 within the 50 free after going 21.6 in each matches to this point. Vekovishchev may need benefitted from not swimming the 100 fly at present, giving him slightly extra relaxation for his dash freestyle races.
3. Two Particular person Races Solid Doubt On Skins Selections
Coming into the meet, we anticipated a ladies’s medley relay battle between London and Cali, with each groups most likely selecting between breaststroke or backstroke as their prime pores and skin race choices. And we anticipated the London males to win the medley and possibly lean in the direction of backstroke for his or her skins selection.
However all of these selections received slightly murkier with the outcomes of the 50-meter stroke occasions at present.
London received the lads’s medley, as anticipated. However backstroke may not be as welcoming a pores and skin choice because it appeared pre-meet. Stewart’s upset win over Guido and Diener has to weigh considerably closely for London. Backstroke was a mix of a energy for London and the weakest stroke for Cali skins dominator Dressel, taking away the huge benefit of his off-the-blocks begin. However after at present’s 50 again, London might have to think about taking their possibilities in opposition to Dressel – albeit in his third-best stroke – by choosing breaststroke.
Adam Peaty received the person 50 breast at present, and doesn’t actually face any of the league’s prime breaststroking threats like Emre Sakci, Ilya Shymanovich, or Nicolo Martinenghi on this week’s grouping.
Meanwhle the Cali ladies received the medley. They’ll nonetheless most likely decide breaststroker after going 1-2 there at present, and that call is helped by world record-holder Alia Atkinson being slightly off her recreation at present for London. However it’s additionally price noting that Lilly King had arguably her hardest take a look at of the yr at present, solely beating teammate Molly Hannis by a number of hundredths and ending nicely off her finest time.
Cali has additionally beforehand picked backstroke for the skins, however after Kira Toussaint beat Olivia Smoliga within the 50 again at present, that choice doesn’t look as interesting. If Cali is de facto going to share the wealth of prize cash and MVP factors across the roster (and in the event that they’re not too anxious about whether or not they’re first or second on this meet, with a postseason berth locked up both method) they may decide butterfly, the place London is comparatively weak and the place Kelsi Dahlia simply had simply her finest 100 fly of the yr at present.
4. Fink Returns, However Not Fairly to 100%
One massive query mark for Cali shifting ahead was males’s breaststroke, the place they’ve been terrible to this point this yr. Nic Fink has been out with damage, although, and was a drive within the league final yr, so hopes have been nonetheless excessive for the workforce’s postseason potential.
Fink returned to motion at present, however he doesn’t appear like himself but. Both he’s not absolutely wholesome, or the damage lower into his coaching a bit – both method, Fink was eighth within the 200 breast and eighth within the 50 breast at present, with the sector’s slowest 100 breast break up on the medley relay.
No matter manufacturing, his return is superb information for Cali. Fink was the league’s #2 swimmer within the 50 breast final yr, the previous ISL record-holder within the 200 breast, and 4th within the league final yr within the 100 breast. His ceiling as a breaststroker is clearly increased than any of the opposite entrants Cali has been rolling with. However getting him again to 100% – and even near it – shall be a serious key to Cali’s run for the ISL title.
5. Battles of the Unbeatens
This can be a fairly stacked subject all-around, and we had a handful of races at present between swimmers who have been both unbeaten within the ISL this yr or unbeaten of their ISL careers:
Lilly King (CAC) vs Alia Atkinson (LON) – 50 Breast
Heading into at present, King was 6-for-6 in 50 breast wins (together with 25-for-25 in profession ISL swims). Atkinson was 5-for-5 for her ISL profession. Each ladies had received a skins race, sweeping all three rounds. It was King who stayed unbeaten at present, and Atkinson completed third.
Cali Condors vs London Roar – Ladies’s Medley Relay
The Cali Condors have by no means misplaced this relay in ISL competitors. London had solely misplaced as soon as – to Cali in final yr’s closing. However London really carried within the sooner 2020 time at present, establishing a nailbiter of a showdown. Cali constructed an enormous lead, and London’s late heroics weren’t fairly sufficient, as Cali remained undefeated on this relay throughout two seasons.
Melanie Margalis (CAC) vs Yui Ohashi (TOK) – 200 IM
Margalis had received this occasion twice in 2020, and likewise received three of her 4 swims in 2019. Ohashi, an ISL rookie, was 2-for-2 within the early levels of her ISL profession. Margalis received decisively at present, although, beating Ohashi by 9 tenths by dominating the breaststroke and freestyle legs. Margalis was simply sixth and Ohashi 4th after butterfly, however they surged to the entrance because the race wore on.
We get a pair extra battles of the unbeaten in tomorrow’s session:
- Hali Flickinger (CAC) vs Suzuka Hasegawa (TOK) – 200 fly
- Flickinger has received 5 straight, stretching again to final yr. Hasegawa has received her first two ISL meets and holds the ISL file.
- Olivia Smoliga (CAC) vs Kira Toussaint (LON) – 100 again
- Each are undefeated this yr, and each solely misplaced as soon as final yr, every to world record-holder Minna Atherton
- Lilly King (CAC) vs Alia Atkinson (LON) – 100 breast
- King is undefeated all-time, successful six straight. Atkinson hasn’t misplaced but this yr and solely misplaced as soon as final season.
- Melanie Margalis (CAC) vs Yui Ohashi (TOK) – 400 IM
- Margalis is undefeated in her profession at 5-for-5, stretching again to 2019. Ohashi has solely swum within the league this yr, however has received her first two swims within the 400 IM.
- Katsuhiro Matsumoto (TOK) vs Townley Haas (CAC) – 200 free
- Like Ohashi, Matsumoto is undefeated in his rookie season. Haas received the one 200 free he’s entered this yr in week 2.