2021 ISL Playoffs Match 4, Day 2: Live Recap

2021 ISL PLAYOFFS – MATCH 4

The London Roar established a 49.5 point lead over season 2 champions he Cali Condors following the first day of competition. The Condors remain a mere 10 points ahead of the LA Current after day 1, though the battle is far from over, and any of the three could yet pull off the victory.

Today will feature showdowns between LA’s Abbey Weitzeil, London’s Emma McKeon, and Iron’s Ranomi Kromowidjojo in the women’s 100 freestyle, LA’s Ryan Murphy and Cali’s Coleman Stewart in the men’s 100 backstroke, and London’s Sydney Pickrem and Cali’s Hali Flickinger in the 400 IM. London’s Kyle Chalmers will be the heavy favorite to win the 100 freestyle, especially since Cali’s Caeleb Dressel is not swimming it. In addition to the 100 free, Chalmers will face off with Cali’s Townley Haas in the 200 free, while Dressel takes on the 100 IM and the 4 x 100 mixed medley relay–a rather paired-down schedule for Dressel.

Team Lane Assignments

  • Lanes 1 & 2: LA Current
  • Lanes 2 & 4: London Roar
  • Lanes 5 & 6: Cali Condors
  • Lanes 7 & 8: Iron

Team Points – Day 1

  1. London Roar, 287.5
  2. Cali Condors, 238.0
  3. LA Current, 228.0
  4. Iron, 156.5

Women’s 100 Freestyle

London’s Emma McKeon held off LA’s Abbey Weitzeil and Iron’s Ranomi Kromowidjojo for the first win of the day. LA’s Madison Wilson finished 4th giving the Current a total of 12 points in the event versus London’s 10 points as London’s Freya Anderson finishes 8th. No jackpots in the first race of the day, and LA creeps within 4 points of the Cali Condors in team points.

Men’s 100 Freestyle

London’s Kyle Chalmers turned 1st in 22.04 at the 50-meter mark and continued to pull away over the 2nd half of the race. Teammate Dylan Carter nearly placed 2nd but was out-touched by LA’s Maxime Rooney. Even so, Chalmers jackpots both swimmers from team Iron, a serious blow to the already 4th-place team. The Cali Condors, with no Caeleb Dressel in this race, place 4th and 6th for a total of 8 points. London, however, comes away with 18 points while LA earns 11 points.

Women’s 200 Butterfly

Iron’s Alys Thomas and Cali’s Hali Flickinger battled hard over the 1st 175 meters of the race, but it was the Olympic bronze medalist Flickinger that pulled away on the final 25 to win by more than a body length, forcing Thomas to settle for 2nd. Even so, Thomas earns Iron its highest finish for the day. Flickinger jackpots LA’s Helena Gasson to earn a total of 10 points which, when combined with teammate Katerine Savard, brings Cali’s point total up to 15 points, a much-needed influx to put some distance between them and the Current in the battle for 2nd behind London. Iron, meanwhile, comes away with a respectable 11 points in this race.

Men’s 200 Butterfly

Cali’s Eddie Wang held off LA’s Tom Shields for the win in the men’s 200 butterfly with teammate Angel Martinez finishing 4th to give the ‘Dors a total of 14 points. London’s  Teppei Morimoto and Vini Lanza finish 3rd and 5th to give London a total of 10 points in the race. Iron, meanwhile, finishes 6th and 7th for a mere 5 points.

Women’s 100 Backstroke

London’s Kira Toussaint crushed the field, leading from start to finish and winning in a quick 55.45, the fastest time of the 2021 ISL season. LA’s Ingrid Wilm finished 2nd in 56.21 while London teammate Minna Atherton placed 3rd in 56.52. Toussaint jackpots both swimmers from Iron, a heavy blow for the team that started the day in 4th in the team standings. Toussaint earns 12 points giving London a total of 18 points versus LA’s 11 points and Cali’s 8 points.

Men’s 100 Backstroke

Ryan Murphy was dominant in the men’s 100 backstroke and the only man to break 50 seconds, winning in a commanding 49.51. World Record holder Coleman Stewart of the Cali Condors finished 4th in 50.18, nearly 2 seconds off his season best/World Record of 48.33 from Naples. Apostolos Christou of the LA Current placed 3rd to give LA a total of 16 points while London comes away with 11 points and the Condors just 5 points, the same as Iron.

Women’s 100 IM

 

Beryl Gastaldell of the LA Current gets her 1st victory of the 2021 ISL season with a 57.87, just a little more than half a second from her ISL Record. Cali’s Beata Nelson placed 2nd in 58.21, just 3/10ths from her best time and American Record, set earlier this season. LA’s Anastasiya Gorbenko held on for 3rd to give LA a total of 18 points in the race–Gastaldello managed a jackpot of Iron’s Africa Zamorano and Cali’s Kathrin Demler.

Men’s 100 IM

Despite not leading at the 50-meter turn, Caeleb Dressel surged over the freestyle to win the men’s 100 IM in 51.67, getting in just ahead of London’s Duncan Scott who touched 2nd in 51.82. LA’s Brett Pinfold, a sprint freestyle specialist, placed 3rd in 52.14. Iron’s Marco Orsi was out fastest at 50 meters, turning in 23.32, though he ultimately faded to 4th (52.26) with teammate Robert Glinta placing 5th in 52.45.

Team Points Update

  1. London Roar – 377.5 points
  2. LA Current – 315.0 points
  3. Cali Condors – 314.0 points
  4. Iron – 199.5 points

Women’s 100 Breaststroke

Despite the much-hyped race between Cali’s Lilly King and London’s Alia Atkinson, King crushed the field in her specialty, winning by nearly a second in 1:03.35. Teammate Emily Escobedo placed 4th to give the Condors a total of 16 points once jackpots are accounted for. LA’s Imogen Clark and Iron’s Jenna Strauch being the swimmers to see their points stolen. Iron will earn a mere 3 points in this race while La will come away with only 6 points.

Men’s 100 Breaststroke

Cali’s Nic Fink posted a 56.51 to win the men’s 100 breaststroke, coming back on Iron’s Bernhard Reitshammer to get the win. LA’s Christopher Rotbauer and Cali’s Kevin Cordes tie for 3rd in 58.11. London had a rough go in this race and earns only 3 points, though it shouldn’t diminish their lead by much.

Women’s 50 Butterfly

Iron’s Ranomi Kromowidjojo got the win on home soil with a 24.77 in the women’s 50 fly, just edging out Cali’s Kelsi Dahlia who touched in 24.86. Kromowidjojo was close to her own ISL Record but didn’t quite get it. London has another rough go in this race, coming away with only 2 points. The LA Current come away with 7 points in this race while the Condors earn 11 points.

Men’s 50 Butterfly

The London Roar again struggles in the men’s 50 fly, seeing both of their swimmers jackpotted by Iron’s Nicholas Santos who crushed the field in a 21.98, jackpotting 5 other competitors and earning a total of 24 points. LA’s Tom Shields was not out of it and managed to place 2nd in 22.26, missing his own American Record by just 3/10ths, earning a total of 7 points. Cali’s Angel Martinez earned 3rd and 6 points, a minor victory in terms of keeping Cali ahead of LA in the team standings.

Women’s 200 Freestyle

London’s Freya Anderson led the entire way, but was nearly chased down in the final 50 meters by Iron’s Barbora Seemanova, touching in 1:53.17 to 1:53.23, respectively. London’s Laura Lahtinen, however, finished 8th and was jackpotted by Anderson–Lahtinen also failed to meet the minimum time standard and gets London a 1-point deduction. The LA Current had a solid performance in this event and comes away with 10 points while Cali will get 8 points and Iron 9 points.

Men’s 200 Freestyle

London’s Kyle Chalmers picks up his 2nd event of the day with a 1:41.68 to win the men’s 200 freestyle. Chalmers split a 25.67 on the final 50, more than a second faster than anyone else in the field. LA’s Fernando Scheffer looked as though he would get the victory, having turned in 1st at 150 meters, though he was unable to hold off Chalmers on the final 50. Still, Scheffer and LA teammate Maxime Rooney placed 2nd and 3rd, respectively, netting a total of 13 points to London’s 10 points. The Cali Condors will take away just 6 points.

Mixed 4 x 100 Medley Relay

The Cali Condors earned another victory and managed a small jackpot of Iron’s second relay. The LA Current placed 2nd and 6th while the London Roar placed 3rd and 7th. Of note, Kelsi Dahlia split a 54.89 on the Condors’ fly leg, while Caeleb Dressel split just 50.76 on the Condors’ other medley relay. No backstroker broke 50 seconds in this event, while Tom Shields was the only butterflyer under 50 seconds, splitting a 49.17 on LA’s ‘A’ relay.

Women’s 400 IM

Cali’s Hali Flickinger picked up the checkpoint points at the 200-meter turn but was run down over the second half of the race by London’s Sydney Pickrem who surged over the breaststroke to take the lead. London’s Katie Shanahan placed 3rd to give LA a total of 19 points in the race–LA’s Kotryna Tetervkova, who has been clutch for LA in the breaststroke in Eindhoven, failed to meet the minimum time standard and was both jackpotted and penalized with a 1-point deduction against LA. The Condors come away with 22 total points, the most of any team in the field, thanks to Flickinger and Kathrin Demler‘s checkpoint points.

Men’s 400 IM

London’s Duncan Scott ran away with the victory in the men’s 400 IM, posting a 4:00.37 to win by 7 seconds and jackpot 3 other swimmers. Scott not only won the race but also picked up the checkpoint points by turning 1st at 200 meters. LA’s Hector Cruz was disqualified for an illegal back-to-breast turn. This turned out to be one of Iron’s best events of the day as Leonardo Santos and Erik Persson earn a total of 13 points for Iron. The Cali Condors come away with 11 points in this race thanks to Brodie Williams managing to finish 2nd, while the LA Current earns just 7 points.

Team Points Update

  1. London Roar – 468.5 points
  2. Cali Condors – 440. points
  3. LA Current – 390.5 points
  4. Iron – 302.5 points

Women’s 50 Backstroke Skins

Quarter-Final

Though Olivia Smoliga got her hand on the wall first, the big winners of the first round of the women’s backstroke skins are the London Roar as both Minna Atherton and Kira Toussaint advance to the second round. Iron’s Melanie Henique also advances, meanwhile both swimmers from the LA Current are shut out.

Semi-Final

Olivia Smoliga wins the 2nd round while 50 backstroke World Record holder Kira Toussaint is shut out, though she gets to keep her 6 points. Melanie Henique, meanwhile, sees her points stolen by Smoliga. While these are undeniably great results for the Cali Condors, their chances of making up the deficit and winning this match remain incredibly slim and would basically require that Smoliga jackpot Atherton in round 3.

Final

London’s Minna Atherton managed to beat Cali’s Olivia Smoliga by just 0.15, earning the 14 points and all but sealing London as the match victors.

Men’s 50 Backstroke Skins

Quarter-Final

London’s Christian Diener pulled off a minor upset by getting his hand on the wall 0.05 ahead of LA’s Ryan Murphy in the first round of the men’s 50 backstroke skins. LA’s Apostolos Christou and Iron’s Robert Glinta will also advance to the final, while both swimmers from the Cali Condors are shut out. In this first round of skins the final team standings for the match have effectively been decided–there is now no way that Cali can make up the difference and catch the London Roar. London will win this match while the Condors are assured 2nd, LA 3rd, and Iron 4th.

Semi-Final

Ryan Murphy blasted off the blocks with a 0.48 reaction time and held on to win the second round of the skins in 23.51, just a little more than a quarter of a second ahead of London’s Diener. Murphy jackpots teammate Christou and comes away with a total of 14 points in round 2.

Final

Murphy won the final round of the skins in 24.32, a rather pedestrian time though more than enough to finish in 1st ahead of Diener, who touched in 24.99. Murphy does not jackpot Diener, though even if he had, the team standings would not have changed–LA will finish in 3rd, Cali in 2nd, and London in 1st.

Final Team Standings

  1. London Roar – 534.5 points
  2. Cali Condors – 474.5 points
  3. LA Current – 438.5 points
  4. Iron – 327.5 points

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Sub13
16 days ago

After W200 fly, the Roar have very slightly increased their lead against all 3 teams. The W200 fly was quite a weakness for them so that’s a good sign so far. If they can continue to swim the way they have been then this is a good sign.

I’m very interested to see the 100IM. Dressel is the only swimmer who is faster than Scott, but that’s at his best. If Scott can pull off the win there that will be fantastic.

Yoo
Reply to  Sub13
16 days ago

Orsi’s been 50.9 before.

Uncle_Reco
16 days ago

Does the CBC link stick for anyone else occasionally? Or its just me?

GD20
Reply to  Uncle_Reco
16 days ago

It’s been fine for me so far

Uncle_Reco
Reply to  GD20
16 days ago

I really dont understand lol….Mine freezes a lot mid race and all kinds of stuff. It probably has to be my internet or my actual computer

CC2004
16 days ago

London doing good up to now after womens 100 back

Last edited 16 days ago by CC2004
Sub13
Reply to  CC2004
16 days ago

Atherton pulls out a super strong swim! Hopefully this is a good sign for the next two matches as well. A 1-3 to gain 10 points on Cali and 7 on LA. London has increased their lead against both teams after 5 events, so hopefully they keep going!

Skins is so skewed in terms of points though that London basically needs to be ahead by 100 before skins to be guaranteed the win, but hopefully London’s skins do well today

KatyJ
Reply to  Sub13
15 days ago

Feel there are too many points for skins

Sub13
Reply to  KatyJ
15 days ago

Absolutely. I hate skins. I think the league would be better if they didn’t exist, or if their points were cut in half. 14 points for winning the last round when there are only two swimmers in it anyway is just ludicrous.

Admin
Reply to  Sub13
15 days ago

I’m torn.

I love the skins concept and format.
I do think they have an outsized impact on the outcome of the meet.
But I also think if you reduced that impact, that people wouldn’t swim them or take them as seriously.

KatyJ
Reply to  Braden Keith
15 days ago

Totally agree. ISL is great to watch, but frustrating to watch fantastic teams removed by one event!

Troyyy
Reply to  Braden Keith
15 days ago

It already had an outsized impact in 2019 and then they went in increased it’s impact.

Sub13
Reply to  Braden Keith
15 days ago

They’re just worth way too much for what they are. Atherton scraped into the second round in fourth by 0.01. Had she been 0.01 slower she would have got 20 or so less points. 0.01 shouldn’t have the ability to make a 20 point difference. Just winning the final round alone without a jackpot is equivalent to winning a regular event with 3 jackpots. Add in that the skins winner must have already accumulated at least 5+7 points in the earlier rounds, and the skins winner gets at least triple the points of a regular event, and usually much more than that.

Sprinters already have more chance to earn points than anyone else because they have 50, 100 of each… Read more »

KatyJ
Reply to  Sub13
15 days ago

They have a place, just not the number of points

Dave
Reply to  Sub13
15 days ago

Kinda like catching the snitch

Sub13
Reply to  Dave
15 days ago

LOL! Great analogy. Maybe JK Rowling is writing the skins rules.

Troyyy
16 days ago

Quite the surprise Atherton getting up for third in the 100 back.

Sub13
Reply to  Troyyy
15 days ago

Hopefully this is a return to form for her (and just in time to make it count!)

CY~
16 days ago

Minna looking much better today!!

SwimJon
16 days ago

Minna Atherton improved from yesterday so far

Uncle_Reco
16 days ago

This is going to come down to the Skins one way or the other.

LON doing a good job of securing points in events, will have to see how the 400IM’s go.

Yoo
16 days ago

minna is so inconsistent lol

Swimmer
Reply to  Yoo
16 days ago

She said something on Instagram about smacking her head yesterday just before the 200 back… not sure if that played a part in those swims?

About Reid Carlson

Reid Carlson

Reid Carlson originally hails from Clay Center, Kansas, where he began swimming at age six.  At age 14 he began swimming club year-round and later with his high school team, making state all four years.  He was fortunate enough to draw the attention of Kalamazoo College where he went on to …

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