ISL Rosters: LA Current Adds Weitzeil, Rooney, But Loses Lots of Vets

International Swimming League 2020: LA Current

  • 2019 finish: 4th
  • 2019 MVP: Beryl Gastaldello (156 MVP points)

The LA Current were the sneaky-good team of the inaugural ISL season. In their group, they were overshadowed by the standout London Roar, and among U.S. teams, the Current were overlooked for the Dressel-based star power on the Cali Condors. But it was the Current that won the American derby, and finished the season just 77 points back of the Condors for third overall while scoring more men’s points than any team but Energy Standard.

Additions

The American teams appear to have mined NCAA graduates better than their European counterparts. LA got Abbey Weitzeilwho could be a massive difference-maker in the skin races and on relays. Weitzeil is arguably the best American sprinter (assuming Simone Manuel sits out the ISL again) and has great endurance that should help out in the skin races.

The Current also got Maxime Rooneyquite possibly the top male swimmer coming out of the NCAA. He’s an elite fly/free specialist who should provide a big relay boost. Zane Waddell is a pure sprinter, but between free and back, he’s a big get – especially with the new ISL format including non-free strokes as potential skin races. Waddell might immediately be among the top 50 backstrokers in the entire league.

Recruiting of ISL vets was somewhat limited. Kristian Gkolomeev was one of the better Aqua Centurion scorers last year despite competing in only two meets. Madi Wilson and Ali Deloof both jump from the New York Breakers and bring free/back sprint speed.

Outside of the ISL, Los Angeles pulled most of its new pro talent from South America: Argentina’s Julia Sebastian is a solid breaststroker (joining former Energy Standard breaststroker Kierra Smith) and Brazil’s Fernando Scheffer and Felipe Silva should be solid pickups.

Losses

  • Annie Lazor
  • Kathleen Baker
  • Farida Osman
  • Amy Bilquist
  • Margo Geer
  • Bailey Andison
  • Linnea Mack
  • Leah Smith
  • Jhennifer Conceicao
  • Maddy Banic
  • Matt Grevers
  • Nathan Adrian
  • Felipe Lima
  • Jack Conger
  • Michael Chadwick
  • Blake Pieroni
  • Ryan Held
  • Chase Kalisz
  • Shane Ryan
  • Matthew Josa

A lot of veterans dropped off this roster from last year. It appears multi-time U.S. Olympians Matt Grevers and Nathan Adrian might be taking a pass on the ISL this year. With the coronavirus pandemic still going, it makes sense. Grevers has two young children. Adrian is still in his first few years of marriage, and even less far removed from testicular cancer treatment.

Sprinters Blake Pieroni and Michael Chadwick have popped up on the Toronto Titans roster. Ryan Held is a big loss who was carrying a lot of momentum. So is Kathleen Baker, the former 100 back world record-holder. And Annie Lazor was one of the team’s top scorers last year and is a reliable in-season breaststroker.

There are a lot of big names to highlight. Chase Kalisz only swam two ISL meets last year, but is potentially one of the best IMers in the league. Energy Standard poached breaststroker Felipe Lima, and flyer/freestyler Jack Conger is also off the roster.

Returners

Though they weren’t the biggest names at signing, Tom Shields and Beryl Gastaldello were top-11 individual scorers in the entire league last year. It’s hard to put into context just how valuable they were. Both return – and the addition of a potential 50 fly skin race should make both even more important.

LA retained pretty much all of their California Golden Bear alums on the men’s side: Andrew Seliskar, Ryan Murphy and Josh Prenotalong with Shields. Will Licon (a Texas grad) is also back, loading up the breaststroke group quite well. Murphy was nearly a triple-digit scorer without competing at the U.S. derby. Seliskar scored 105.5 points, with 25 or more in all four meets.

For the women, Ella Eastin is a big-time IMer coming back after scoring 19+ points in all three of her meets last year. The butterfly group remains strong with Kendyl Stewart and Katie McLaughlin, even with Farida Osman out the door.

Full Roster

Women:

Men:

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2 months ago

Eddie Wang Taiwan represent lessgooo

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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