There was a super-charged atmosphere inside the Eppley Recreation Center in College Park as the
four American-based clubs competed on Day 1 of the International Swimming League’s US-derby
The highly anticipated showdown exceeded all of the hype coming in, as fans were treated to a pair
of razor-thin team battles along with some very fast swims across the board.
The first matchup between in-state rivals Cali Condors and LA Current did not disappoint, as the
two were locked in a close points battle throughout the day. The Condors were out ahead most of
the way, with their advantage peaking at 17.5 points, but a strong second half brought the Current
within half a point after the final relay. Cali leads LA, 234.5 to 234.0, as we head into Day 2.
“Well, we’re half a point further ahead than what we were when we started the meet,” joked Condor
head coach Gregg Troy. “But, it’s going to be a really good meet tomorrow.”
The Condors had a very hot start that included six wins over the first eight events, and they finished
the day with nine total wins to LA’s seven.
Leading the way for Cali was Caeleb Dressel, who won the men’s 100 butterfly, 50 freestyle, and
also had the fastest leg on the team’s winning 4x100 free relay and the top fly split on their third-
place finishing 4x100 medley relay.
The American superstar leads the MVP race with 25.5 points after Day 1, as he’ll look to become
the first swimmer in the ISL to win the award multiple times. The MVP is awarded to the swimmer,
male or female, who contributes the highest number of points to their club at match’s end.
On the women’s side, the Condors were led by Lilly King, who doubled up with victories in the
women’s 50 and 200 breaststroke, keeping her unbeaten streak alive in individual events so far in
the ISL. King has gone a perfect 8-for-8 in breast events through two and a half matches.
Spearheading the charge for the LA Current was Beryl Gastaldello, Kathleen Baker and Andrew
Seliskar, who scored 61.5 points between the three of them.
The French native Gastaldello had a pair of incredible individual wins in the women’s 50 free and 50
back, while the American Baker won the 200 back and was the runner-up in the 50 back.
On the men’s side, Seliskar remains undefeated in the 400 individual medley with his third victory in that event, and he was also second in the 200 free behind teammate Blake Pieroni. Their teammate Chase Kalisz, who was making his league debut, was second in the 400 IM. The Current had their momentum briefly derailed in the middle of the session when one of their men’s relays was disqualified, costing them 14 points, but it was their response to that adversity that really helped them finish the day so close to the lead. The race for third was equally as exciting, as the NY Breakers and DC Trident duked things out. The Breakers were up the majority of the day, but DC finished strong to trail by only 2.5 points, 167.5-165, when the dust settled. NY captain Michael Andrew had his first career win in the league in the men’s 50 back, tying with LA veteran Matt Grevers. Andrew also finished second in the 50 free to rank him second in the MVP race with 21.5 points. “We’re definitely doing better than we were in the first (few matches),” said Breaker head coach Peter Andrew. “So that’s a positive. We’re climbing the ladder. And if you’re learning all the time you’re just going to get better and better.” The standout for the DC Trident on Day 1 was Ian Finnerty, who blew away the field in the men’s 200 breast. Before that he placed second in the 50 breast in a new American record, and had a blistering split on the Trident’s medley relay which led them to a runner-up finish. Those performances gave him a team-leading 19.5 points. He was one of two American records on the day, along with Melanie Margolis of the Cali Condors who broke the 400m IM record. “It’s so great having another competition where it’s all for the team, just like college,” said Finnerty, who previously represented the Indiana Hoosiers in the NCAA. “It’s awesome, it’s an awesome experience.” Also shining for DC was Siobhan Haughey, who won the women’s 200 free for a third time in the fastest time we’ve seen so far in the ISL.
Team Standings Through Day 1:
â— Cali Condors, 234.5
â— LA Current, 234.0
â— NY Breakers, 167.5
â— DC Trident, 165.0
Day 1 Winners:
â— Women’s 100 Butterfly - Kelsi Dahlia, Cali Condors - 55.78
â— Men’s 100 Butterfly - Caeleb Dressel, Cali Condors - 49.16
â— Women’s 50 Breaststroke - Lilly King, Cali Condors - 29.00
â— Men’s 50 Breaststroke - Felipe Lima, LA Current - 25.92
â— Women’s 400 Individual Medley - Melanie Margalis, Cali Condors - 4:24.46
â— Men’s 400 Individual Medley - Andrew Seliskar, LA Current - 4:02.88
â— Women’s 4x100 Freestyle Relay - Cali Condors (Smoliga, Dahlia, Hinds, Comerford) - 3:29.38
â— Men’s 200 Backstroke - Radoslaw Kawecki, Cali Condors - 1:51.68
â— Women’s 200 Backstroke - Kathleen Baker, LA Current - 2:01.57
â— Men’s 50 Freestyle - Caeleb Dressel, Cali Condors - 20.81
â— Women’s 50 Freestyle - Beryl Gastaldello, LA Current - 23.81
â— Men’s 4x100 Medley Relay - LA Current (Grevers, Lima, Shields, Chadwick) - 3:23.63
â— Women’s 200 Freestyle - Siobhan Haughey, DC Trident - 1:51.99
â— Men’s 200 Freestyle - Blake Pieroni, LA Current - 1:43.48
â— Women’s 50 Backstroke - Beryl Gastaldello, LA Current - 26.18
â— Men’s 50 Backstroke - Michael Andrew, NY Breakers / Matt Grevers, LA Current - 23.38
â— Women’s 200 Breaststroke - Lilly King, Cali Condors - 2:17.78
â— Men’s 200 Breaststroke - Ian Finnerty, DC Trident - 2:02.76
â— Men’s 4x100 Freestyle Relay - Cali Condors (Dressel, Majchrzak, Becker, Ress) - 3:08.52
About the ISL: The International Swimming League is a global professional swimming competition launching in 2019 with teams in both Europe (Italy-based Aqua Centurions, France-based Energy Standard, Hungary-based Iron, and London Roar) and the United States (Cali Condors, DC Trident, LA Current, NY Breakers). The inaugural season will include matches in Indianapolis IN, Naples ITA, Lewisville TX, Budapest HUN, College Park MD, London GBR, and the championship finale at the 12,000-seat Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, NV. The ISL aims to create groundbreaking projects, in both form and content, exploring the full potential of competitive swimming while securing sustainable commercial growth in the sport. Key Dates: 5-6 October 2019 – IU Natatorium, Indianapolis, USA 12-13 October 2019 – Aquatic Swimming Complex, Naples, Italy 19-20 October 2019 – The LISD Westside Aquatic Center, Lewisville, Texas, USA 26-27 October 2019 – Duna Area, Budapest, Hungary 16-17 November 2019 – Natatorium at the Eppley Recreation Center, Maryland, USA 23-24 November 2019 – London Aquatic Centre, Great Britain 20-21 December 2019 – Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino, Las Vegas, USA ISL
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