Brent Hayden Ends His 2021 ISL Season Early with Back Injury

Veteran swimmer Brent Hayden is the latest member of the Toronto Titans to call off the remainder of his International Swimming League season with an injury.

The 38-year old Hayden raced in one relay in the Titans’ playoff opener on November 13-14, anchoring the team’s top men’s 400 free relay in a split of 47.06 (their fastest).

Ahead of last week’s match, however, he Tweeted that back spasms would prevent him from competing.

On Thursday, Hayden Tweeted that he was “officially calling an end to (his) season” because of the back spasms, saying that there was no way he would be able to race in 2 days.

“Although my ISL season has been a huge personal dissapointment, I am so proud of what our team has achieved.

“When I get home I will take a break to reflect on the last 2 years of this comeback, while also doing what I need to heal my body.”

Hayden says that he’s looking forward to spending time with his wife and family, and working on his photography.

The Titans are already without Jay Lelliott and Blake Pieroni for the playoffs due to injuries, and backstroker Cole Pratt missed their playoff opener two weeks ago with a knock as well (though he returned last week for a limited two race schedule).

The lack of Hayden for the finale, even in a limited relay capacity, dramatically damages their already-steep chance at making the top 4 that advance to the final, even after ranking 4th in the regular season.

Hayden ranked 190th in the regular season in MVP scoring, averaging just over 8 points per match. In Match #9, which was Toronto’s regular season finale, he swam 21.50 in the 50 free, which is just .16 seconds slower than his personal best time.

He was injured during the team’s regular season opener too, which led to a no-start, and big penalty points, for a Toronto relay. He also cited back problems during the Canadian Olympic Trials earlier this year.

Hayden represented Canada at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games this summer, where he tied for 9th place in the men’s 50 free. He also swam a leg of Canada’s 400 free relay that placed 4th. On a leadoff leg of that relay, he became the oldest man, by at least five years, to go under 48 seconds in the 100 free in long course.

Hayden made a return to competitive swimming in January 2020 after more than 7 years away from the sport. In his last meet before the pandemic began to shut down competition, the 2020 Pro Swim Series meet in Des Moines, Iowa, Hayden swam 21.97 in the 50 free, which gave him the FINA Olympic “A” qualifying standard.

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1 month ago

Summer MacIntosh has headed home as well.

Looks like the Titans will be running even more short-handed this match

Reply to  CanSwim13
1 month ago

Looks like they have officially thrown in the white towel if that’s the case. They will have a hard time out scoring Aqua centurions without Macintosh + the injuries.

Rooky coach
Reply to  CanSwim13
1 month ago

Why does Summer go home?!

Reply to  Rooky coach
1 month ago

There could be so many reasons:

– Wants to be in school
– Coaches don’t want to overload her with racing
– Homesick
– Her dad is battling cancer treatment
– Wants to get more consistent blocks of training in

Please remember, she just turned 15. I’m very relieved she’s not being treated (or she’s not letting herself be treated) like an adult ISL member.

1 month ago

God love him, but this man’s back does not want him to swim anymore.

I’m sure he adds a lot to the team’s morale and culture – hopefully even if he isn’t able to continue swimming anymore, he can stay involved with the team in some capacity.

NOT the frontman of Metallica
Reply to  ScovaNotiaSwimmer
1 month ago

Hayden for GM!

Mr Piano
1 month ago

The only reason this dude retired in the first place was because of back spasms. Imagine how fast he would be if he was unleashed.

1 month ago

Man, this sucks. He’s had such a great year, crazy that a man just shy of 40 is still going close to PBs with back issues.

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder/co-owner 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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