2019 INTERNATIONAL SWIMMING LEAGUE FINALE
- Friday, December 20 – Saturday, December 21, 2019
- 1:00 – 3:00 PM Local Time (U.S. Pacific Time)
- Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino – Las Vegas, NV
- Short Course Meters (SCM) format
- Top 4 qualifying franchises: Energy Standard, London Roar, LA Current, Cali Condors
- Live Stream (ESPN3)
- Day 1 results
Besides the team battle (which comes with a $10,000 award for each member of the winning squad), a pair of financially-rewarding individual battles are raging this weekend in Las Vegas at the International Swimming League finale.
The final match MVP will receive a $10,000 bonus, and the points from this match will be added to the rest of the meet to determine the season MVP winner, who will receive a $50,000 bonus. MVP points for this finale are double what they’ve been for every other meet, which is pretty much the only reason why Sarah Sjostrom‘s claim to that title is in doubt.
It’s no surprise that, after day 1, Caeleb Dressel of the Cali Condors is leading the MVP chase. He has 52 MVP points to lead all scorers. The surprise for 2nd is his Cali Condors teammate Nic Fink, who won both the 50 and 200 breaststroke and picked up 5 relay points as well. Lilly King, the other day 1 double winner, is ranked 3rd.
Top 10 Meet MVP after Day 1:
- Caeleb Dressel, Cali Condors – 52
- Nic Fink, Cali Condors – 41
- Sarah Sjostrom, Energy Standard – 37
- Lilly King, Cali Condors – 36
- (TIE) Florent Manaudou, Energy Standard/Olivia Smoliga, Cali Condors – 32
- Ryan Murphy, LA Current – 31
- (TIE) Chad le Clos, Energy Standard/Duncan Scott, London Roar – 29
- (TIE) Kyle Chalmers, London Roar/Beryl Gastaldello, LA Current – 28
In the season-long battle, things are getting very interesting. Realistically, only Dressel and Sarah Sjostrom are in contention after day 1 – all of the other possible contenders didn’t do well enough for a hope at winning (barring something ridiculous on day 2).
Dressel adding the 50 breaststroke to his lineup was ultimately not a great result for his team after he finished 7th on the back end of back-to-back swims. For the purposes of the season MVP scoring, however, that might be what keeps him in contention – he picked up 4 MVP points from that result
Top 5 Season MVP after Day 1:
TEAM IN VEGAS?
|1||Sarah Sjostrom||Energy Standard||188.5||Yes|
|2||Caeleb Dressel||Cali Condors||171||Yes|
|3||Chad Le Clos||Energy Standard||161||Yes|
|4||Emma McKeon||London Roar||150||Yes|
|5||Olivia Smoliga||Cali Condors||149.5||Yes|
Chad le Clos and Emma McKeon have really swum their way out of contention – the gap to Sjostrom is too big. Dressel, meanwhile, has swum his way into contention – aided by a 4th-place finish from Sjostrom in the 100 fly. If Sjostrom had won that 100 fly, she probably could have socked this title away.
The ultimate difference will probably come down to the skins race on Saturday. If one of the two doesn’t make the final and the other wins, that will crush the chances of the former. The gap in skins scoring is huge (too big in this author’s opinion, generally), and so, for example, the difference between winning the Las Vegas skins race and placing 3rd is 15 points in the Season MVP points tally. That’s almost the whole gap between the two at the moment.
All of this keeping in mind that Dressel has only swum 2 previous ISL meets, versus 3 for Sjostrom.
If Dressel holds his lineup from prior meets, he’ll have the 100 free, 50 fly, mixed 400 free relay, and skins race to swim on Saturday. Sjostrom would also have the 100 free, 50 fly, and skins races if she holds her lineup, but Energy Standard hasn’t been using her on the mixed 400 free relay (to let her rest for skins).