2019 INTERNATIONAL SWIMMING LEAGUE: GROUP A, MATCH 2 – NAPLES
- Saturday, October 12th – Sunday, October 13th
- 7:00 pm – 9:00 PM, local time (UTC+2), (1:00 pm – 3:00 pm U.S. Eastern Time)
- Naples, Italy
- Piscina Felice Scandalone, Via Giochi del Mediterraneo
- Short Course Meters (SCM)
- Group A: Cali Condors, DC Trident, Energy Standard, Aqua Centurions
- Live stream, event schedule & viewer’s guide
- Day 1 full results
The Group A quad of match 1 winner Energy Standard, Cali Condors, DC Trident, and Italian host Aqua Centurions have already begun their second match-up in Naples with day 1 now in the books. After the first 19 events, the Cali Condors currently lead over Energy Standard by 7.5 points. In the running for third place, the Aqua Centurions are looking strong with an 11.5-point lead over the DC Trident.
Team Scores After Day One
- Cali Condors – 237.5
- Energy Standard – 230
- Aqua Centurions – 174
- DC Trident – 162.5
MVP Rankings Update
As expected, Cali Condors team captain Caeleb Dressel‘s addition to the roster made a huge impact with his 22.5-point contributions. Currently, the multi-time world champion leads the MVP rankings by a half point over South African counter-part Energy Standard’s Chad le Clos.
Top 5 MVP Rankings After Day One
- Caeleb Dressel – Cali Condors (22.5 pts)
- Chad le Clos – Energy Standard (22 pts)
- Sarah Sjostrom – Energy Standard (20.5 pts)
- Olivia Smoliga – Cali Condors (19.5 pts)
- Nicolo Martinenghi – Aqua Centurions (18.5 pts)
Team Event Strengths
In roughly half of the events contested on Saturday, the Condors and Energy Standard ran an even race with an equal number or a 1-2 point differential of point contributions. Breaking down point contributions, only the men’s 100 fly and 200 breast had relatively even point contributions across all four teams. Below are events that continue to be a team’s vital weapon on day one:
- Women’s 100 Fly: Despite Condor Kelsi Dahlia‘s upset win over Energy’s Sarah Sjostrom, Energy Standard earned 13 points with Sjostrom and Anastasia Shkurdai‘s 2-3 finish while the Condors picked up 10.5 points.
- Women’s Breast: It was the second-consecutive 1-2 finish for Condor teammates Lilly King and Molly Hannis, who brought 10 more points over to the Condors than the other teams’ 6-7 point additions in the 50 breast. The duo teamed up again in the 200 distance and earned 15 points for the Condors, making women’s breaststroke one of the Condor’s most dominant strengths.
- Men’s 50 Breast: In front of a home crowd, Italian stars Nicolo Martinenghi and Fabio Scozzoli repeated an Aqua Centurion 1-2 finish in the men’s sprint breast event.
- Women’s 50 Free: While not a complete top two sweep for 16 points, Sjostrom and Energy Standard teammate Femke Heemskerk earned a 3-point advantage over Condor sprinters Olivia Smoliga and Kasia Wasick in contrast to last week’s 1-point upper hand.
- Women’s 200 Free: DC Trident’s Siobhan Haughey won the event for the second time in a row, earning 2 more points than the next closest team even without Katie Ledecky.
- Women’s 50 Back: The versatile Condors showed dominance with Olivia Smoliga‘s repeat win and Kylie Masse’s 2-point improvement to earn another 16-point team contribution.
- 4×100 Free Relays: Energy Standard may not win every single event, but the sprint freestyle relays surely prove to hold a high standard of competition for the other teams as both the men and women once again won both free relays.
Team Event Weaknesses
While the Aqua Centurions are running much better than in Indianapolis, both them and the DC Trident continue to show major weak spots when stacked next to the Condors and Energy Standard.
For the Centurions, it is evident their main strengths and point contributions come from the male sprinters of the group. After day one, the men contributed 120 points while the women scored only 54 points, creating the largest gap among gender contributions. The women’s 200/400 distances (not including Margherita Panziera‘s DQ in the 200 back) continue to be a struggle for the Centurions with only 3-6 points earned from those swims.
As for the DC Trident, their event coverage is relatively shallow, with very few events having strong point contributions. In events like the men’s 50 free and 50 breast, their swimmers simply just aren’t strong enough to topple down their other foes. With Trident relays, there’s not enough swimmers to make a strong relay like Energy Standard’s free relays or the Centurions’ men’s medley relays.
Day One Roster Swaps
While most teams utilized the same swimmers in each event, there were still a number of roster swaps that switched up the outcome of many events. One prime example of this is Caeleb Dressel‘s debut ISL appearance in both the 100 fly and 50 free.
While Chad le Clos won the 100 fly yet again for Energy Standard, Dressel made the race much more interesting with the duo separated by one one-hundredth. In the same way, Dressel’s second place finish bumped down Aqua Centurions’ Matteo Rivolta and Santo Condorelli to 3rd/5th.
In the 50 free, Dressel and 2012 Olympic champion Florent Manaudou finally met up in their signature events, which made the race all the more exciting. Dressel’s determination against of the greatest male sprinters allowed him to bump down Manaudou and Ben Proud‘s point totals from 16 to 13 for Energy Standard.
Another huge example you most certainly did not miss was the Aqua Centurions’ winning men’s 400 medley relay. In Indianapolis, the Centurions split up their best strokers among the two relays. In Naples, in front of a home crowd, the team put up top dogs Simone Sabbioni, Nicolo Martinenghi, Matteo Rivolta, and Alessandro Miressi together and took down the relay-dominant Energy Standard.
Who’s On and Who’s Off?
- Going back to Kelsi Dahlia‘s 100 fly win for the Condors, it definitely raises the question if Dahlia can take down Sjostrom again in the 50 distance. With the absence of Hali Flickinger, Dahlia will need to step up on day two in both the 50 and 200 fly.
- Along with the medley relay, both Lilly King and Molly Hannis‘ breaststroke will propel the Condors to another dominant showing in the women’s 100 breast.
- Since Ledecky is not in Naples, DC Trident’s Bethany Galat was instead put in the 400 IM, where she was a great team player and picked up 6 points. In the 200 breast, Galat then threw down a killer race against King to break up a Condor 1-2 finish and earn 7 points. Heading into tomorrow, Galat has an opportunity to showcase her BR/IM abilities in the 100 breast and 200 IM.
- Jeremy Stravius swam his first individual event for the DC Trident in the 50 back, stunning Energy’s Kliment Kolesnikov and Centurions’ Simone Sabbioni with his surprise win. In the medley relay, Stravius’ 51.60 lead-off was the 5th-fastest among the 8 teams. However, his 50 back performance on Saturday surely will make him an asset in the 100 back tomorrow.
- As showcased before, Caeleb Dressel‘s addition to the Condors’ Naples line-up is paying off. Tomorrow, Dressel could potentially be seen in the 100 free, 50 fly, and (the likely most certain) 50 free skins.
- One swimmer who took a huge hit was the Centurions’ prime IMer Phillip Heintz. In the 400 IM in Indianapolis, Heintz took third place with a respectable 4:09.56. In Naples on Saturday, Heintz finished in 8th place with a 15-second gain (4:26.98). Looking at his final free splits, Heintz swam 42.94/33.15, pointing that some malfunction occurred (in the replay Heintz appeared to be pseudo-treading water). Tomorrow, Heintz will need to be top of his game for the 200 IM for the Aqua Centurions.
- On a different note, Energy Standard’s Ilya Shymanovich has truly stepped up in the breaststroke events with Anton Chupkov absent. Shymanovich first took fourth in the men’s 50 breast, but quickly turned around and won the 200 breast after be part of the 1-2 finish last weekend alongside Chupkov. Tomorrow, Shymanovich and the Aqua Centurion breaststrokers (Martinenghi/Scozzoli) will meet up once again in the 100 distance.