Coughlin and Ledecky Out, Cordes In for DC Trident at Naples Stop of ISL

The DC Trident of the International Swimming League will have a few substantial changes to their lineup ahead of the series’ 2nd stop in Naples, Italy this coming weekend.

Two of the biggest names in the history of women’s swimming will skip the event: Natalie Coughlin and Katie Ledecky. The team will, however, add back the services of men’s breaststroker Kevin Cordes, adding a 3rd body to an already-loaded men’s breaststroke group.

In meet 1 in Indianapolis, Ledecky tied for the 5th-most points among all swimmers (excluding bonus points awarded for the skins race). She finished 2nd in the 400 IM, 2nd in the 200 free, and won the 400 free in American Record pace. She also swam on the Trident’s 2nd mixed 400 free relay, which finished in 7th place.

Coughlin, meanwhile, swam just 2 individual races in her first competitive meet since the 2016 US Olympic Trials. She was 7th in the 50 back (27.69) and 8th in the 50 fly (27.01). Her time in the 50 fly was short of the minimum time standard of 26.50, which gave her 2 net points over the course of the meet.

The Trident finished 26 points ahead of the Aqua Centurions for 3rd place in Indianapolis, with Coughlin and Ledecky combining for 27 points. The Aqua Centurions will have the home pool advantage this weekend in Naples, and are expected to use Italian superstar swimmer Federica Pellegrini in more individual events (she swam relays only in Indianapolis).

Meanwhile, the men’s breaststroke group will get a boost from Olympic gold medalist and long course American Record holder in the 50 and 100 Kevin Cordes in Naples. This is not an area that appeared as though it would be a weakness for the Trident in meet 1, even without Cordes, as they already have Indiana training partners Cody Miller and Ian Finnerty on their roster. That pair struggled in Indianapolis, however: Finnerty was 6th in the 100 breast (58.38) and Miller 8th (59.38); in the 50 Finnerty was 6th and Miller was 7th; and in the 200 Miller was 4th and Finnerty was 8th.

While Finnerty is the new short course yards American Record holder, and while Cordes didn’t break 1 minute in long course this summer, Cordes is unlikely to be in as heavy of training as Indiana is at this point in the year, and still could be an upgrade in those positions.

Other changes to rosters coming from week 2 that we already knew about:

  • The Cali Condors will lose Hali Flickinger (24 points), Townley Haas (12 points), and Kelsey Wog (14 points), but will add Caeleb Dressel and Megan Kingsley to the roster.
  • Meet 1 winners Energy Standard will add French swimmer Fantine Lesaffre, the 2018 European Champion in the 400 IM, for Naples.
  • Aqua Centurions have still not released their roster.

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Becky D
1 year ago

Braden: Natalie swam the 50 fly in 27.0, not a 100 fly. If she had swum 27.0 in a 100 fly, I can see why FINA would be hesitant to recognize records swum in the ISL.

Reply to  Becky D
1 year ago


1 year ago

I’m just waiting for the DC meet, we gotta get everybody in to win at home

1 year ago

Not surprised Katie isn’t doing all the meets. She has more value for her training and classes vs the prize money….which for her isn’t that much.

Reply to  Superfan
1 year ago

It’s not much for anybody. She showed her support to ISL’s cause as promised. It’s enough. The ISL came up with a new format in international swimming meets and it was interesting to see for the first time. Will I be same excited to see the same one more time? Let’s see. Well maybe the Italian team will be the third now ahead of D.C. Trident with Ledecky out and Pellegrini in to please local crowd. But that will probably be it. One of the most revolutionary thing about ISL was the intention to make competition without national associations. So there will be no flags, anthems, medals count etc. So it should be only about money earned by performance enjoyable… Read more »

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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