2021 ISL Playoffs Match 6, Day 1: Live Recap


Lane Assignments

  • Lanes 1 & 2: Aqua Centurions
  • Lanes 3 & 4: Cali Condors
  • Lanes 5 & 6: Toronto Titans
  • Lanes 7 & 8: Iron

The final match of the 2021 ISL playoffs begins today! The Cali Condors are already guaranteed to move on to the league Final next week, while the Aqua Centurions and Iron are guaranteed to end their seasons this weekend. The Toronto Titans, however, are at a crossroads. If the Titans pull off the upset and beat the Cali Condors then they will advance to the Final. If, however, the Cali Condors win then the Toronto Titans will be going home after this match. Cali Condor Caeleb Dressel will not be taking part in this match, opting to rest instead and prepare for next weekend’s Final.

Women’s 100 Butterfly

Kelsi Dahlia was well off her recent best time but still managed to get the win in the women’s 100 butterfly. Dahlia was 3rd at the 50-meter turn but came home faster than the early leader Elena di Liddo of the Aqua Centurions. Toronto’s Louise Hansson could not quite match Dahlia’s closing speed either and finished 2nd. Overall, the Condors bring in 15 points in the first event, 10 from Dahlia and 5 from Erika Brown. The Toronto Titans, meanwhile, earn just 7 points as Laura Stephens is jackpotted by Dahlia.

Men’s 100 Butterfly

Matteo Rivolta was on another level in the men’s 100 butterfly. Rivolta was just 0.09 above World Record pace at the 50-meter turn and had established a half-second lead over the field. Rivolta extended his lead to finish in a 48.64, demolishing his own Italian Record of 49.05, set here in Eindhoven earlier this month. Rivolta jackpotted 5 of the other swimmers in the race to earn a total of 24 points. Both swimmers from the Toronto Titans had their points stolen, a huge blow for their campaign. Szebasztian Szabo of the Aqua Centurions was disqualified for a non-simultaneous touch.

Women’s 200 Backstroke

Beata Nelson was out fast and was 0.05 under World Record pace at the 100-meter turn. Nelson fell off of World Record pace to ultimately finish in a 2:00.84, a full second and a half ahead of Kylie Masse of the Toronto Titans. Lisa Bratton, also of the Titans, finished 3rd to give them a total haul of 13 points, though the Condors come away with 20 points–15 for Nelson who jackpotted 3 swimmers, including both athletes from Iron, as well as 5 points for Hali Flickinger, who finished 4th.

Men’s 200 Backstroke

Team Iron benefitted from two big swims from Lorenzo Mora and Robert Glinta who finished 1-2, earning 19 points for Iron. Brodie Williams of the Cali Condors managed a 3rd-place finish though teammate Tom Peribonio placed 8th and had his points stolen by Mora. Cole Pratt and Max Litchfield earn the Toronto Titans 7 points while Leonardo de Deus earns the Aqua Centurions just 5 points.

Team Points Update

  1. Cali Condors – 48 points
  2. Aqua Centurions – 39 points
  3. Iron – 31 points
  4. Toronto Titans – 27 points

Women’s 200 Breaststroke

The Cali Condors dominated the women’s 200 breaststroke, though in a somewhat unusual fashion. Emily Escobedo got the win, a minor upset as she gets the better of teammate Lilly King, though it was King who had the lead at the 50-meter turn. By the 100-meter turn King had fallen to 5th, and by 150 meters King was just 6th. King produced a 34.70 on the final 50, the fastest split on that leg of the race in the field by nearly a second, and surged back to 2nd place, finishing just 0.33 behind Escobedo. Toronto’s Tess Cieplucha places 3rd to give Toronto 6 points, though teammate Dominika Sztandera placed 8th and had her points stolen by Escobedo.

Men’s 200 Breaststroke

Arno Kamminga swam a patient race, not taking the lead until the final 25 meters where he surged past Iron’s Erik Persson to get the win in 2:02.67. Kamminga jackpots Aqua’s Nicolo Martinenghi and Toronto’s Tobias Bjerg to earn a total of 12 points. Toronto will come away with 6 points while the Cali Condors take 9. If Toronto wants to have any hope of winning this match they are going to need some big swims in the upcoming events today.

Women’s 4 x 100 Freestyle Relay

Iron took the early lead thanks to a 51.97 lead-off leg by Ranomi Kromowidjojo, which was followed up with a 51.88 by Barbora Seemanova. The Toronto Titans took over the lead at 300 meters thanks to a 52.54 split from Louise Hansson and just held on to it, thanks to a 51.74 anchor leg by Michelle Coleman, who barely held of Cali’s Olivia Smoliga who split a 51.83. The win in the women’s 400 free relay is monumental for the Titans as it gives them 30 points total, 18 for the win and 12 for jackpots. If the Condors had won the Titans would have missed out on the opportunity to take 2nd place in the team standings.

Team Points Update

  1. Cali Condors – 96 points
  2. Toronto Titans – 68 points
  3. Aqua Centurions – 66 points
  4. Iron – 58 points

Men’s 50 Freestyle

Iron’s Thom de Boer managed to get the win by 0.04 over Cali’s Justin Ress, who looked like he had the race in the bag until they hit the wall. Iron’s Maxime Lobanovszkij blasted a 21.02 to place 3rd, just 0.01 after Ress and only 0.05 after de Boer. Toronto’s Shane Ryan placed 7th in 21.70, while Marius Kusch places 8th in 26.16, swimming simply so as not to leave an empty lane and therefore lose only 1 point instead of 4 points. The Titans used this tactic in their last match as well. Due to various injuries, the Toronto Titans have only 8 men swimming this weekend and will therefore enter some athletes in races just so as not to be penalized 4 points.

Women’s 50 Freestyle

Kasia Wasick got the Toronto Titans a much-needed win in the women’s 50 freestyle, though teammate Michelle Coleman fell to 8th, giving the Titans a total haul of just 10 points. Iron’s Kromowidjojo and Melanie Henique placed 2nd and 4th, respectively, for a total of 11 points, while the Cali Condors come away with 8 points and the Aqua Centurions 8 points as well.

Men’s 200 IM

Toronto’s Alberto Razzetti led from start to finish in the men’s 200 IM, and had the fastest butterfly split by nearly a second. Razzetti’s victory, as well as Max Litchfield‘s 4th-place finish, give the Titans 15 points in the race. Iron’s Erik Persson was jackpotted by Razzetti leaving Iron with just 6 points from Leonardo Santos. The Aqua Centurions earn 10 points while the Cali Condors earn just 6 points.

Women’s 200 IM

Aqua’s Rika Omoto surged in the final 50 of freestyle, splitting a 29.93, to get her hand on the wall first and steal a point from teammate Alessia Polieri. Iron’s Maria Ugolkova seemed to have the victory after the 150-meter turn but could not hold off Omoto. Iron, the Toronto Titans, and the Cali Condors will all come away with 9 points in this race.

Men’s 50 Breaststroke

Aqua’s Fabio Scozzoli and Nicolo Martinenghi tie for 1st, each earning 9.5 points to give the Centurions a total haul of 19 points (9 + 7 + 3 jackpot points). Cali’s Nic Fink managed to place 3rd in 26.19 though teammate Kevin Cordes as well as Iron’s Erik Person had their points stolen by Scozzoli and Martinenghi.

Women’s 50 Breaststroke

Cali’s Lilly King was back to her usual dominance after the upset in the 200 breaststroke earlier in the session. King blasted a 29.58 to beat out Aqua’s Arianna Castiglioni and Iron’s Ida Hulkko. Toronto’s Laura Stephens and Cali’s Emily Escobedo, the winner of the 200 breaststroke earlier, had their points stolen by King who comes away with 12. The Aqua Centurions match them with 12 points in this race while Iron earns 10 points and Toronto just 3 points.

Men’s 4 x 100 Freestyle Relay

The Aqua Centurions pulled off a huge upset in the men’s 400 freestyle relay, blasting a 3:06.64 to take the win by over a second ahead of Iron and the Cali Condors. Alessandro Miressi anchored in a 45.81, the fastest split in the field, though Cali’s Justin Ress was close with a 46.03. This race, more so than any other this season, showcased multiple teams of swimmers not trying, simply swimming so as to not be penalized for leaving an empty lane. This was particularly apparent with the ‘B’ teams from Iron and the Toronto Titans. For the Titans, every single male swimmer they have competing this weekend had to swim in this race. Iron’s ‘B’ team finished in 3:34.46 while Toronto’s ‘B’ team finished in 3:57.81 with multiple swimmers, Fabian Schwingenschlogl and Tobias Bjerg, had splits that were over one minute. For reference, the cutoff time–the “minimum time standard” a swimmer must achieve in a race to avoid a point deduction–in the men’s 4 x 100 freestyle relay is a 3:15.00 and the cutoff time in the (individual) men’s 400 freestyle is a 3:50.50.

Team Points Update

  1. Aqua Centurions – 177 points
  2. Cali Condors – 159 points
  3. Iron – 127 points
  4. Toronto Titans – 110 points

Women’s 50 Backstroke

Kylie Masse got the Toronto Titans a much-needed victory in the women’s 50 backstroke, touching the wall in 26.11. Teammate Louise Hansson hit the wall 4th to earn 5 points bringing their total in the event to 14 points. Iron, meanwhile, earns just 5 points while the Cali Condors get 10 and the Aqua Centurions 8 points.

Men’s 50 Backstroke

For the second time today, two men from the same team took the top-2 spots in a 50 of stroke. Iron’s Guilherme Basseto and Robert Glinta touched the wall in 23.11 and 23.16, respectively, bringing in a total of 19 points. Cali’s Brodie Williams and Toronto’s Cole Pratt were both jackpotted by Basseto. Coleman Stewart posted a 23.20 for 2nd, though he has been as fast as 22.60 this season.

Team Points Update

  1. Aqua Centurions – 193 points
  2. Cali Condors – 175 points
  3. Iron – 151 points
  4. Toronto Titans – 128 points

Women’s 400 Freestyle

Aqua’s Holly Hibbott blasted out the first 100 meters to claim the 6 checkpoint points, though Hibbot was gradually overtaken by Cali’s Hali Flickinger, Iron’s Barbora Seemanova, and Toronto’s Julia Hassler. Flickinger, who turned in only 5th at the 100-meter mark, had taken over the lead by the 250-meter turn. Flickinger ended up getting a jackpot and stealing the points from Iron’s Constanza Cocconcelli and Aqua’s Laura Taylor. Flickinger comes away from the race with 14 points while Hibbott, who finished in 4th, earns 12 points for the Aqua Centurions. Hassler, whose Toronto teammates cheered her on with signs reading “Happy Retirement,” stated in the post-race interview that her swimming career has come to an end.

Men’s 400 Freestyle

Max Litchfield and Luc Kroon gave Toronto a massive 25-point influx thanks to their 1st- and 3rd-place finishes in the men’s 400 freestyle. Kroon, who finished 3rd, scored the most points in the race with 13 thanks to his 3-point 100-meter jackpot. Litchfield, however, was 5th at 100 meters but had a very strong final 100. Cali’s Townley Haas was 2nd at the 100-meter turn to earn 4 points, though Haas would fade to 7th, earning a total of 6 points.

Women’s 4 x 100 Medley Relay

Despite swimming both the 200 back and 200 IM earlier in the session, Cali Condor Beata Nelson put up a 56.62 leading off the women’s 400 medley relay, coming in just behind Toronto’s Kylie Masse who touched in 56.48. Lilly King produced a 1:04.26 on the breaststroke, which was actually 0.06 slower than Aqua’s Arianna Castiglioni. Kelsi Dahlia and Erika Brown finished things off for the ‘Dors, ultimately winning in 3:48.63, nearly two seconds ahead of the runners-up from the Toronto Titans. The Titans’ ‘B’ team as well as the Aqua Centurions ‘B’ team fell victim to the Condors’ jackpot. Ultimately, the Condors earn 34 points in this race.

Men’s 4 x 100 Medley Relay

The Aqua Centurions did it again, winning the men’s 400 medley relay in dominant fashion. Though they were in 2nd place following the backstroke leg of the race, Arno Kamminga‘s 55.45 breaststroke split, coupled with Matteo Rivolta‘s 49.17 butterfly split, put them in the lead. The Centurions’ 12-point jackpot claims the points from the Cali ‘B’ team as well as both teams from the Toronto Titans, another huge blow to the team from Canada. Aqua earns a total of 38 points in this event versus Cali’s 14 points and Iron’s 22 points.

Team Points – Day 1

  1. Aqua Centurions – 264 points
  2. Cali Condors – 250 points
  3. Iron – 205 points
  4. Toronto Titans – 180 points

Skins Selection

Women’s Skins

  • Iron eliminates backstroke
  • Toronto Titans eliminate breaststroke
  • Cali Condors choose butterfly

Men’s Skins

  • Cali Condors eliminate butterfly
  • Iron eliminates breaststroke
  • Aqua Centurions choose backstroke

In This Story

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8 months ago

Summers in Rangoon…luge lessons…New Year’s in Lichtenstein

8 months ago

Skins selection

Women: Iron eliminate backstroke, Toronto eliminate breaststroke, Cali chooses Butterfly
Men: Cali eliminates butterfly, Iron eliminate breaststroke, Aqua chooses backstroke

Almost exactly as I thought it would go….but surprised Aqua didnt go with Freestyle having Miressi and Szabo

Iron definitely with a huge shot to win both skins races.

Reply to  Uncle_Reco
8 months ago

Aqua had too many stroke weaknesses to get much benefit from picking the skins.

Gen D
8 months ago

Skins – W
Iron eliminates backstroke
Toronto eliminates breaststroke
Cali chooses butterfly

Skins – M
Cali eliminates butterfly
Iron eliminates breaststroke
Aqua chooses backstroke

8 months ago

Skins selection
Women – Fly
Men – Back

8 months ago

Haven’t been watching but just woke up to check scores. I can’t tell if Cali is having an off day or if they are taking it really easy, because a lot of their times are off but some of them do look to be swimming pretty close to their best.

They beat Energy basically with this exact team two weeks ago and now they’re behind Aqua. Either way, there’s no way Toronto goes from last to first tomorrow with only 8 men so looks like Cali and LA are safely in the final again.

Reply to  Sub13
8 months ago

Been watching and it could be a bit of both for Cali, but Aqua and Iron have been REALLY good so far in this match.
Aqua definitely have a chance to win this match and can take bigggg points in the MMR tomorrow.

Reply to  Sub13
8 months ago

Their head coach basically intimated they’re doing the same as ENS & LON in previous match; getting through this one spending as little petrol with their peak assets as possible. Whether they will or even can manage a “tank” so as to lose the match is unlikely given the standard of their competition……… TOR being decimated on the male side basically blew the “tank to rule out LAC” option out of the water.

8 months ago

Going to be very confused/disappointed if Coleman Stewart isn’t in top form next week.

Reply to  Noah
8 months ago

I feel your pain. Guido has consistently swam slower in the playoffs than his worst regular season time. If he was swimming his top time he would have been top 2 in every 50/100 back so far.

Men’s back is such a battlefield event in the final as well.

I think we can at least agree that we both want Coleman and Guido to beat Energy’s swimmers haha.

Eric the eel > Phelps
8 months ago

AQC ahead of Cali on Day 1, unebelievable

Reply to  Eric the eel > Phelps
8 months ago

Slightly…..but I knew Aqua would be challenging this match without Caeleb swimming.

8 months ago

Nice to see Toronto letting some kids off the street swim on their relays! Way to bring more people to the sport.

Reply to  Kachow
8 months ago

With only 8 available men to swim. Those 8 have to swim every relay, mins after finishing a previous race. Tough!

Reply to  Uncle_Reco
8 months ago

Not tough enough to go above a 52. There are high schoolers far more capable than that.

Reply to  Kachow
8 months ago

they knew they were gonna get jackpotted and would only lose 2 more points for not reaching the time standard so it makes the most sense for them to just take it easy and save themselves for other events.

Last edited 8 months ago by Yoo
Reply to  Yoo
8 months ago

Oh sorry, didn’t realize I was asking too much and wishing that professional swimmers, who are getting paid to swim, would give an honest effort in events they are swimming regardless of they’re ability to score in it

Reply to  Kachow
8 months ago

It’s a problem with the rules rather than the swimmers. The jackpot rule made their swims worthless so it makes sense to save their energy for other events where their swim won’t be worthless. ISL didn’t think their rules through well at all.

Reply to  Kachow
8 months ago

The ISL website specifically says they wanted to bring strategy into the sport. Toronto is executing the best strategy for their circumstances. Why should they waste energy just to end up in a worse position overall?

Reply to  jamesjabc
8 months ago

Well I don’t watch it I just look at the results and all I’m seeing is more reasons to not watch lol. You just don’t see any other “professional athletes” not trying during competitions but these Isl rules are stupid and Toronto is missing half of their team so I understand why they aren’t trying in some races. Isl and their has got a lot of work to do if they want this to last more than a few years

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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