MATCH #15: The Roar beats the Condors and the Current, the play-off series has three leaders


Both Cali Condors and LA Current, winners of their first playoff games, would be happy with the 2nd place in the match, while even the 3rd left them quite a good chance of advancing to the Final Four. As for London Roar, the 3rd place would be disastrous and even the 2nd place wouldn’t be enough to solve the problem. By the very beginning of the match, the great Caeleb DRESSEL had just returned to swim for the Condors, but he has not yet regained his ‘champions shape’.

Results of the match:

London Roar – 520.5 points (4 club points)
Cali Condors – 474.5 (3)
LA Current – 410 (2)
Iron – 318.5 (1) 

The Condors dominated the first third of Day 1, winning three women’s races:

– 100m butterfly: win by Kelsi DAHLIA with a jackpot of 19 points, while Erica BROWN added 6 points for the 3rd place;

– 200m backstroke: win by Beata NELSON with a jackpot of 12 points, Hali FLICKINGER added 4 points for the 5th place. It should also be mentioned that Kathleen BAKER and Ingrid WILM brought the Current 12 points overall for the 2nd and 4th places;

– 200m breaststroke: Lilly KING took the win with a jackpot of 12 points and Emily ESCOBEDO added 6 points for finishing 3rd. Additionally, Annie LAZOR and Sydney PICKREM took a total of 12 points for the Lions for taking the 2nd and 4th places.

The wins in the first men’s distances were shared between the three other clubs:

– The Current had a win in the 100m butterfly by Tom SHIELDS with a minimum jackpot of 10 points, Maxime ROONEY added 5 points for the 4th place;

– The Roar’s Christian DIENER took the 200m backstroke with no jackpot, while Luke GREENBANK added 6 points for the 3rd place;

– Iron took the win in the 200m breaststroke by Eric PERSSON with a jackpot of 15 points and Bernhard REITSHAMMER added 4 points for the 5th place.

Nonetheless, team Iron initially looked like the outsiders in this confrontation and their second success of the day happened much later in the men’s 50m breaststroke. Bernhard REITSHAMMER took the 1st place in this swim with a jackpot of 15 points.

The women’s 4x100m freestyle relay foreshadowed a turning point in the match: LA’s first relay team (Abbey WEITZEIL, Madison WILSON, Anastasiya GORBENKO, Beryl GASTALDELLO) beat the Condors (Natalie HINDS, Erica BROWN, Kelsi DAHLIA, Olivia SMOLIGA) by nearly a second and took a jackpot of 30 points (Remember, that points are doubled in the relays).

At this point, the position of the clubs was as follows:

CAC – 99
LAC – 81
LON – 65
IRO – 46

The Lions dominated the second third of Day 1, taking the wins in three distances:

– The men’s 50m freestyle was taken by Kyle CHALMERS without a jackpot, 0.03 seconds ahead of Kristian GKOLOMEEV of the Current and 0.07 seconds ahead of Caeleb DRESSEL of the Condors. CHALMER’s teammate Dylan CARTER took another 3.5 points for the tie for the 5th/6th places;

– The men’s 200m individual medley was won by Duncan SCOTT, who got a jackpot of 12 points. It was complimented by 6.5 points taken by Vini LANZA in a tie for the 2nd/3rd place that he split with Leonardo SANTOS of Iron;

– The women’s 200m IM winner was Sidney PICKREM with a jackpot of 12 points, to which Katie SHANAHAN added 4 points for the 5th place.

Abbey WEITZEIL from the Current was the winner in women’s 50m freestyle without a jackpot, finishing 0.01 second ahead of the 2nd/3rd place splitters – the Roar’s Emma McKEON and Iron’s Ranomi KROMOWIDJOJO.

Lilly KING was first in the women’s 50m breaststroke, earning a 15-point jackpot for the Condors.

In the men’s 4x100m freestyle relay, the Lions lineup (Kyle CHALMERS, Katsumi NAKAMURA, Zac INCERTI, Dylan CARTER) confidently took the 1st place, while the Current took the 2nd and the first team of the Condors, for which Caeleb DRESSEL swam in the last leg, was only 3rd.

After this race, the position of the clubs was as follows:

LON – 171.5
CAC – 157
LAC – 146
IRO – 108.5

Overall, the four relays played an important role in the distribution of points on the first day. Out of 296 available relay points, the Roar took 90, Cali – 76, the LA – 74 and Iron – 38 points (the sum of points is less than played because of penalty points).

In the final third of Day 1, the Lions were increasing their lead, while the Condors and the Current were fighting hard for the 2nd place.

The Roar’s Kira TOUSSAINT was first in the 50m backstroke, but she did not get any jackpot points, so, her team, as well as the Condors, scored 9 points each. The Current, on the other hand, scored 12 points in total thanks to the 2nd and 4th place of Ingrid WILM and Kathleen BAKER, respectively. On the same distance for men, Ryan MURPHY of LA won with a jackpot of 15 points, while the Lions’ Christian DIENER and Guilherme GUIDO scored 13 points for the 2nd and the 3rd places, respectively.

In the women’s 400m freestyle, Cali’s Hali FLICKINGER beat the Roar’s Freya ANDERSON by 0.03 seconds to win 9 points. But ANDERSON took a total of 13 points (including 6 for the 1st place at the first 100m). In the men’s, the Roar’s Duncan SCOTT showed a superb performance and took a 19-point jackpot (minimum for the win + jackpot of 9 at the first 100m).

In total, out of 106 points from the two 400m races, London took 39, LA – 25, Cali – 24 and Iron – 17 points (the latter team received a penalty point in the men’s swim).

Position of the clubs before the two medley relays:

LON – 233.5
LAC – 198
CAC – 194
IRO – 136.5

In the women’s 4x100m medley relay, the first lineup of the Lions (Kira TOUSSAINT, Alia ATKINSON, Marie WATTEL and Emma McKEON) beat the Condors (Beata NELSON, Lilly KING, Kelsy DAHLIA and Erika BROWN) on freestyle, the last leg. London took a jackpot of 30 points, while the Condors finished with a total of 24 points for the 2nd and 4th places.

Then, in the men’s 4x100m medley relay, the Condors (Coleman STEWART, Nic FINK, Caeleb DRESSEL and Justin RESS) did take the 1st place, but the minimum jackpot of 20 points was not enough for Cali to take the team victory in this swim. Their second relay team finished last, falling under the jackpot, while the Lions took 24 points in total. The Roar’s first relay squad (Guilherme GUIDO, Samuel WILLIAMSON, Kyle CHALMERS and Dylan CARTER) finished 2nd, 0.1 seconds ahead of the Current (Ryan MURPHY, Javier ACEVEDO, Tom SHIELDS, Brett PINFOLD) and the Lions’ second team was 4th.

At the end of the first day, the position of the clubs was as follows:

LON – 287.5
CAC – 238
LAC – 228
IRO – 156.5

In addition to a gap of almost 40 points, the Roar had a small bonus in the form of a choice of the skin races strokes.

In the first third of Day 2, the Roar’s swimmer won three swims:

– The women’s 100m freestyle: taken by Emma McKEON without a jackpot. However, Abbey WEITZEIL and Madison WILSON placed 2nd and 4th, bringing 12 points to the Current against 10 for the Lions;

– The men’s 100m freestyle: Kyle CHALMERS was first with a jackpot of 12 points, to which Dylan CARTER added 6 points for the 3rd place;

– The women’s 100m backstroke: Kira TOUSSAINT and Minna ATHERTON had the exact same result as CHALMERS and CARTER.

The Condors won both 200m butterfly swims:

– The women’s was taken by Hali FLICKINGER with a minimum jackpot, where Kathrine SAVARD added 5 points for the 4th place;

– The men’s was won by Eddie WANG with no jackpot, while Jose MARTINEZ was 4th and got 5 points.

In the men’s 100m backstroke, Ryan MURTHY brought a minimum jackpot to the Current and Apostolos CHRISTOU received 6 more points for the 3rd place.

Club positions at this point:

LON – 362.5,
CAC – 294,
LAC – 289,
IRO – 186.5

In the second third of Day 2, the Condors had a winning streak, but first, Beryl GASTALDELLO brought 12 points to the Current for winning the women’s 100m IM and finished ahead of Cali’s Beata NELSON. Anastasiya GORBENKO added 6 more points to the LA’s ‘piggy bank’ for the 3rd place and the Current briefly overran Cali.

Then, the Cali Condors were victorious in the three consecutive swims:

– Caeleb DRESSEL beat Duncan SCOTT of the Roar in the 100m IM with a minimum jackpot;

– In the women’s 100m breaststroke, Lilly KING beat London’s Alia ATKINSON and took a jackpot of 12 points, to which Emily ESCOBEDO added 5 points for the 4th place;

– On the same distance for men, Nic FINK beat Bernhard REITSHAMMER of Iron and took the same jackpot as KING, while Kevin CORDES added 5.5 points for a 3rd/4th place split.

Both 50m butterfly races were won by the Iron’s leaders:

– Ranomi KROMOWIDJOJO beat Cali’s Kelsi DAHLIA, while Iron’s Melanie HENIQUE added 6 more points for finishing 3rd;

– Nicolas SANTOS confidently took a jackpot of 24 points on the men’s distance.

At this point the position of the clubs was as follows:

LON – 392.5
CAC – 365.5
LAC – 340.5
IRO – 253.5

The final third of Day 2 began with wins by London’s Freya ANDERSON and Kyle CHALMERS in the 200m freestyle with a minimum jackpot. However, in both cases, the second member of the Lions took the last place and received a penalty point. So, on both distances, the Current had the team victory: in the women’s, Madison WILSON and Valentine DUMOND scored 10 points for the 3rd and 5th places. On the men’s course, Fernando SHEFFER and Maxime ROONEY took 13 points for the 2nd and 3rd places, respectively.

The Condors’ relay team (Coleman STEWART, Nic FINK, Kelsi DAHLIA and Natalie HINDS) got the win in the mixed 4x100m medley relay with a minimum jackpot of 20 points, while their second squad (Beata NELSON, Lilly KING, Caeleb DRESSEL and Justin RESS) added 8 points for the 5th place. The Current took 20 points in the swim and the Lions received 16.

In the women’s 400m individual medley, London’s Sydney PICKREM was 1st and scored 11 points (minimum jackpot + 1 point for the 5th place mid-distance). However, she could not get the Lions a team victory, even though Katie SHANAHAN placed 3rd with 8 points (6 + 2 for the 4th place at the 200m mark). The Condors received 22 points in this swim, against 19 that went to the Lions, thanks to Hali FLICKINGER (7 points for the 2nd place + 6 for the 1st place at the 200m) and Kathrin DEMLER (5 for the 4th place + 4 for the 2nd at the 200m mark).

Duncan SCOTT brought the Roar a convincing victory in the men’s 400m IM, where he took 22 points (15 jackpot points for the 1st place + 7-point jackpot midway).

Before the skin races, the teams’ positions were as follows:

LON – 468.5
CAC – 440.5
LAC – 390.5
IRO – 302.5

In the women’s backstroke skins quarterfinals, the Current’s Kathleen BAKER lost to the 4th place finisher – the Roar’s Minna ATHERTON by 0.01 seconds; which crashed the Current’s minimal chances of getting the 2nd place in the match. Cali’s Olivia SMOLIGA came through to the next round quite confidently, taking the 1st place in Round 1. She was followed by Iron’s Melanie HENIQUE and London’s Kira TOUSSAINT, they finished 2nd and 3rd, respectively. SMOLIGA was also the winner in the semi-finals, taking a jackpot of 14 points at the expense of Iron’s Melanie HENIQUE, who came in 4th. Minna ATHERTON joined SMOLIGA in the finals and in the decisive round, ATHERTON came in 1st.

In the women’s skins, the Lions scored 38 points, while the Condors took 32. This is when the gap between the leaders became critical – 32 points.

The theoretically existing chances for the Condors to take the 1st place dissipated after their unsuccessful performance in the quarterfinals of the men’s backstroke skins: Coleman STEWART and Jesse PUTS took the last two places. In the order of completion of Round 1, the semifinals’ participants were: the Roar’s Christian DIENER, LA’s Ryan MURPHY and Apostolos CHRISTOU, Iron’s Robert GLINTA. MURPHY and DIENER made it to the finals, with MURPHY winning both the 2nd and 3rd round, which slightly brightened the Current’s overall failure in the match.

After 4 matches of the play-offs, all clubs had played 2 games each and were positioned as follows:

Cali Condors, Energy Standard, London Roar – 7 club points each,
LA Current – 6,
Toronto Titans – 5,
Aqua Centurions and DC Trident – 3 each, Iron – 2 club points.

ABOUT THE ISL: The International Swimming League is the first global professional swimming team-based competition. Founded in 2018, the league currently consists of 10 teams based in North America (Cali Condors, DC Trident, LA Current, NY Breakers and Toronto Titans), Europe (Italy-based Aqua Centurions, Energy Standard, Hungary-based Iron, and the UK-based London Roar) and Asia (Tokyo Frog Kings).

ISL Season 3 will take place in three phases, with Naples, Italy, first playing host to the 10 ISL clubs in a five-week regular season from 26 August to 30 September. This will be followed by a Play-off phase of three weeks in November, which will bring together the top eight ISL Clubs to compete for a spot in the ISL Final. The ISL Grand Final is set to take place at the begining of December when the ISL Champions will be crowned.

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