Cali Condors Choose Women’s Breaststroke for Skins; LA Current Dodge Dressel


The winners of the medley relays have chosen the skins strokes for Match #10 of the 2020 ISL regular season. This match is the later of the double header taking place on Monday and Tuesday of this week that will conclude the regular season.

The Cali Condors women, who have still never lost a medley relay, chose breaststroke as their skins event, while the LA Current men chose backstroke.

That’s the same choices that came out of Match #1, where the medley relays went the same way.

ISL Match #10 Skins Events

  • Women – Breaststroke (Cali Condors)
  • Men – Backstroke (LA Current)

While in a prior meet, the Condors went with Olivia Smoliga over Lilly King, for this event they’ve gone back to their superstar who, until Monday, had never lost an ISL race.

King showed her first cracks in the armor, though, when Annie Lazor beat her in the 200 breaststroke by .14 seconds and Molly Hannis beat her in the 50 breaststroke by .01 seconds.

Fortunately for Cali, the swimmer who beat King was her teammate Molly Hannis. Also fortunate for King is that her time was better than she swam in the individual 50 breaststroke in her last outing, so it’s not like the wheels are falling off – Hannis and Lazor just rose to the occasion.

There’s still some trepidation in choosing breaststroke with King not showing infallibility – Alia Atkinson of the London Roar is lurking. But, the Condors currently have a 47-point lead over the LA Current and a 73-point lead over London Roar heading into the day 2 of the meet, so the Current are the more immediate threat. Their breaststrokers Julia Sebastian and Anastasia Gorbenko, both of whom are better in the longer distances, and who went 7-8 in the individual 50 breaststroke.

Smoliga, on the other hand, won the 50 back by .47 seconds, and took a bunch of Jackpot points. So, there could have been a strategy there worth exploring, though Cali’s 2nd, Erika Brown, isn’t as strong as in the 50 breaststroke.

For the LA Current men, this too is a move back to the reliable option of Ryan Murphy. They picked fly and Tom Shields in the last meet, but with Caeleb Dressel, the World Record holder in the 100 fly in long course and a staunch skins competitor, present at this meet for the Cali Condors, the Current went away from him.

Still, the backstrokes are not a given. While they do have Ryan Murphy, whose 22.75 in the 50 back on Monday was the best time in the ISL so far this season, London has Guilherme Guido and Christian Diener lurking. Those two have gone 1-2 in the 50 backstroke previously. Between that trio, they hold all of the top 10 times in ISL history.

This move gives Current a chance of coming back on Cali, but it also gives London a chance at leaping them for 2nd place in the meet if it goes wrong.

Ultimately, without knowing how the semi-finals will be seeded, it’s hard to say if any of this will matter beyond money, MVP scoring, and bragging rights, but on balance, both winners have chosen their biggest stars to fight for the last points of the ISL regular season.

The top 5 swimmers in the season-long MVP standings all swim for the two California teams.

MVP Standings Entering Final Week of Competition:

  1. Caeleb Dressel, CAC – 196.50
  2. Lilly King, CAC – 180
  3. Beryl Gastaldello, LAC – 171
  4. Ryan Murphy, LAC – 168
  5. Olivia Smoliva, CAC – 145.50
  6. Szebastian Szabo, AQC – 153.50
  7. Emre Sakci, IRO – 141.50
  8. (TIE) Siobhan Haughey, ENS/Ranomi Kromowidjojo, IRO – 140.50
  9. Tom Shields, LAC – 139


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2 months ago

I hope they put dressel in anyway.

2 months ago

Plot twist, they put Dressel in the skins event anyways.

Reply to  Khachaturian
2 months ago

Plot twist Dressel swims EVERY event

Reply to  Khachaturian
2 months ago

Nah , stewart and ress are gonna do it

Reply to  Khachaturian
2 months ago

I hope they do….but it would be almost impossible for him to make the top 4 in that first 50. At the very least Murphy, Guido, Diener, Stewart are all 99.9% beating him.

Reply to  DorsFanboy
2 months ago

Maybe he’ll even get jackpotted.

Reply to  Khachaturian
2 months ago

Plot twist, Hannis AND Atkinson beat King and BOTH do those stupid ”byebye” fingers!

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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