After Losing Gabriel Santos, DC Trident Sign Robert Howard

The DC Trident of the International Swimming League has added sprinter Robert Howard to their team roster for the inaugural season of swimming’s newest professional circuit. Howard’s announcement comes after the suspension of Brazilian sprinter Gabriel Santos by the ISL, which is expected to turn into a permanent ban in line with the league’s zero tolerance anti-doping policy.

Like Santos, Howard is a sprint freestyler.

Howard just turned pro in March after completing his final NCAA Championship meet. As a prep, one of the best in the state’s history, he trained with Auburn Aquatics based out of the University of Alabama before signing to join the varsity squad at Alabama, where he bloomed into an All-American.

In 2019, as a senior, Howard was named the SEC Swimmer of the Year and the SEC Scholar-Athlete of the Year after graduating with a 4.0 GPA and a degree in accounting. He was also an SEC Champion in both the 50 and 100 free individually, as well as in the 400 free and 200 medley relays in his senior season. He finished 3rd individually at NCAAs in the 50 free (18.80) in 2019 and 5th in the 100 free (41.75), and he also anchored Alabama’s NCAA Championship 200 medley relay in 2019. In total, he earned 15 CSCAA All-America honors in his career at Alabama.

Most recently, he represented the United States at the 2019 World University Games where he won gold as part of the American 400 free relay. As a pro, he’s followed his coach Jonty Skinner to Indiana, where he trains with Cody Miller, Zane Grothe, and Ian Finnerty: all of whom are also members of the DC Trident.

“I’m so excited to welcome Robert to our amazing roster of DC Trident swimmers,” General Manager Kaitlin Sandeno said. “From watching him throughout his career at Alabama, to most recently celebrating his success along with his new Trident teammates at the World University Games, I’ve gotten to know Robert as a swimmer. He is a sprinter through and through, and will surely thrive in the ISL which puts a premium on speed.”

Howard doesn’t have any official results in short course meters, the course that will be used in ISL meets. The Trident are scheduled to kick off their season on October 4th and 5th in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Howard’s Best Times:

50 free 18.74 22.17
100 free 41.57 48.67
200 free 1:32.67 1:49.50

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1 year ago

Don’t know how he didn’t get picked up earlier. He is definitely worthy of an ISL spot and will put up some big swims at Nationals this week!

Reply to  Braden Keith
1 year ago

That was kind of what I thought might have happened too. Quick question about the ISL. Are these swimmers signed to 1 year deals, and will they have to resign next year? It seems that if you didn’t get on a roster this year, it’ll be very hard to get on one in the upcoming years simply due to the fact that many teams already have an established team/a lot fewer slots available. And if they are on one year deals, does that mean the teams could be completely different in the following season?

Reply to  Kit
1 year ago

I think it has to be probably. Then, that gives athletes the chance to retire when they want rather than after their contract has finished.

A$AP Pocky
1 year ago

The Sheriff is in town

1 year ago

Speaking of the ISL, when are tickets going on sale?

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder of He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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