ISL Depth Charts 2020: Iron Pumps Up For Sprints & Skins

INTERNATIONAL SWIMMING LEAGUE 2020: IRON

  • 2019 finish: 5th
  • 2019 MVP: Vladimir Morozov (121.5 MVP points)

Full Roster

Women Men
1 Katinka Hosszu Kristof Milak
2 Ranomi Kromowidjojo Robert Glinta
3 Mireia Belmonte Marco Orsi
4 Veronika Andrusenko David Verraszto
5 Jenna Laukkanen Ross Murdoch
6 Maria Ugolkova Guilherme Basseto
7 Valerie van Roon Ramon Klenz
8 Emilie Beckmann Maxim Lobanovzkij
9 Isabella Hindley Artsiom Machekin
10 Caroline Pilhatsch Clement Mignon
11 Daria K. Ustinova Oussama Sahnoune
12 Daryna Zevina Emre Sakci
13 Melanie Henique Nicholas Santos
14 Ida Hulkko Leonardo Santos
15 Danica Ludlow Thom de Boer
16 Alina Zmushka Yakov Toumarkin

2020 Depth Charts

Our depth charts are equal parts research and prognostication. While most of our ordering is based around best times on record, we’ve also done some guesswork based on time conversions from short course yards and/or long course meters, or in cases where athletes don’t have recent results in a specific event. These depth charts are intended to show the top options for each event, even if the specific event lineup may prevent a top swimmer from entering all of the events where they rank in the top two.

Potential skin races are shown in blue, and the events with relay considerations in red.

Strengths

Last year, Iron was a distance- and IM-based roster carried through the mega-point skin races by a pair of standouts. Ranomi Kromowidjojo returns, and should be among the best women’s skin entrants in freestyle. But losing team MVP Vladimir Morozov hurts. Iron has restocked as well as can be expected – Maxim Lobanovzkij and Marco Orsi have both been 20.6s in the 50 free – but Morozov was a massive multi-stroke weapon. Still, sprint free remains a strength, if a bit less of a top-end strength as last year.

Iron is stellar in men’s fly. Not only do they have the fastest-rising 200 flyer on the planet (Hungary’s Kristof Milak) but they also have short course 50 fly world record-holder Nicholas Santos to hold down the sprint end.

For the women, IM is a clear strength, with captain Katinka Hosszu and Spain’s Mireia Belmonte combining for a tough-as-nails duo that truly lives up to the Iron moniker.

Weaknesses

Breaststroke looks to be in tough shape. On the women’s side, Iron had snagged Australian Jess Hansen from the London franchise, but Hansen is now reduced to a finals-only entrant based on Australia’s pandemic travel bans. To make matters worse, South African Tatjana Schoenmaker also withdrew late in the game. Jenna Laukkanen is a great last-minute addition, but the depth there still suffers.

Iron may struggle in distance free, but only because their elite swimmers will be asked to do so much. Milak is the team’s best 200 and 400 freestyler by a lot, but he’ll be busy with butterfly duty and that’s a brutal set of events. Same goes for Hosszu (the team’s top 200 freestyler) and Belmonte (the top 400 freestyler).

Skins

Free: As mentioned above, Kromowidjojo is arguably the top women’s 50 freestyler in the skin format, with incredible multi-round endurance. Lobanovzkij and Orsi have a ton of short speed, but the second and third rounds might be a problem for the two more sprint-based men.

Back: Robert Glinta should be a solid entrant for the men, with a 23-low career-best. The women will be pretty thin here, with Caroline Pilhatsch and maybe Kromowidjojo filling in.

Breast: Emre Sakci is one of the better swimmers you might not have heard of in the ISL. His career-best of 25.82 should make him a pretty good breaststroke prospect here. The women are much better in the 50 breast than the 100, but Laukkanen, Zmushka, and Hulkko are probably not threats to win the skin.

Fly: Santos has a chance to be dominant in the 50 fly, though his multi-round endurance remains to be seen at age 40. Kromowidjojo is the top woman, and a very good skin racer in both fly and free.

Outlook

There’s no doubt that Iron is going to miss Morozov, and like last year, a roster built on tough distance swimmers may have some issues with sprint relays and relay depth. Still, Iron wasn’t far off making the final last year, and if the league moves away from grouping U.S. and European franchises for postseason qualification (that’s not clear yet), it probably helps Iron.

The Iron roster this year is actually pretty strong across the four skin strokes – they definitely adapted to the advantages that became quickly apparent in the ISL format last year.

The quirks of the new schedule might be a boost too – Iron has to swim against defending champs Energy Standard twice, but has only two other matchups with returning finale teams (London and Cali). Iron also gets three matches against the DC Trident (who finished a spot below Iron last year) and two against the expansion Toronto Titans.

That should help Iron press to potentially unseat LA or Cali for a finale spot, depending on the postseason qualifying criteria and whether two American franchises will once again be guaranteed finale spots.

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John
1 month ago

I think your forgetting Orsi for 100 IM, wasn’t he like a European or World champ?

John
1 month ago

fly Skins for both looks super strong

About Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson swam for nearly twenty years. Then, Jared Anderson stopped swimming and started writing about swimming. He's not sick of swimming yet. Swimming might be sick of him, though. Jared was a YMCA and high school swimmer in northern Minnesota, and spent his college years swimming breaststroke and occasionally pretending …

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