LA Current Loses Baker, Eastin, Licon, Josa For Budapest ISL Stop


  • Group B, Match 2
  • Saturday, October 26 – Saturday, October 27, 2019
  • 6:00-8:00 PM Local Time – UTC+2 (12:00-2:00 PM, U.S. Eastern Time)
  • Duna Arena, Budapest, Hungary
  • Short Course Meters (SCM) format
  • ESPN3 Live Stream Links:
  • Group B: Iron, LA Current, London Roar, New York Breakers

Four key contributors worth a combined 59 points in Lewisville will not make the trip to Budapest for the LA Current’s second International Swimming League match.

Kathleen Baker, Ella Eastin, Will Licon and Matthew Josa are not on the roster for Budapest after scoring the following point values in Lewisville:

Swimmer Points Number of Lewisville Entries
Kathleen Baker 19.5 4
100/200 BK, 50 BR, W Medley Relay
Ella Eastin 19 5
200/400 IM, 200/400 FR, 200 FL
Will Licon 18.5 4
50/100/200 BR, M Medley Relay
Matthew Josa 2 1 M Free Relay

Baker is probably the biggest loss. She was 2nd in the 100 and 200 backstrokes and led off LA’s top medley relay. The Current still has Amy Bilquist on the roster, who should be just fine filling in as the top backstroker, but their depth could be suspect after that.

Eastin filled in a lot of tough events (and a lot of cumulative meters) last week. She was 3rd in the 400 IM and 5th in the 200 IM. Her top replacement might be Bailey Andison, who mostly swam breaststroke and relays last week.

Licon swam all three breaststrokes for the Current and was 2nd in the 200 and 4th in the 100. Luckily, though, LA is still solid on breaststrokers with Josh Prenot, Felipe Lima and Andrew Seliskar still active.

A few other roster notes:

  • Leah Smith is not on the Budapest roster. She was originally listed as active in Lewisville, but did not end up competing due to a neck injury.
  • Brazil’s Jhennifer Conceicao has been added to the roster. She’s a pretty good sprint breaststroker who won World University Games in the 50 over the summer. She probably improves Baker’s 50 breast spot from Lewisville, and allows LA to take Andison out of the 100 and 200 breast to focus on IMs.
  • This is a bare-bones roster with only 12 men and 12 women – that’s going to mean a lot of doubles and the majority of the team swimming on relays in Budapest.

Here’s LA’s full roster for Budapest:

Ryan Murphy Kendyl Stewart
Tom Shields Margo Geer
Jack Conger Farida Osman
Dylan Carter Katie Mclaughlin
Josh Prenot Amy Bilquist
Blake Pieroni Annie Lazor
Michael Chadwick Aly Tetzloff
Ryan Held Linnea Mack
Nathan Adrian Beryl Gastaldello
Matt Grevers Anastasiya Gorbenko
Felipe Lima  Bailey Andison
Andrew Seliskar Jhennifer Conceicao

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Corn Pop
3 years ago

Admirably these 4 are mindful of using fossil fuels .
They have already booked 4 seats on the Fast Train .to Las Vegas . because they are like responsibly green .& optimistic ppl .

3 years ago

This is still an Olympic year, this would be a ton of meets and traveling for an Olympic year. If the ISL started after the Olympics they would prob have a better outcome in terms of attendence.

Reply to  Pkwater
3 years ago

I was thinking this the other day. This should happen in non Olympic years and lead up to worlds for training.

Reply to  Heyitsme
3 years ago

I agree it is weird to start this experiment during an olympic year but not sure it is that much travel and or meets. 3 meets in 3 months (and only one meet overseas). Or if they make finals in Vegas (4 meets in 4 months). Sounds like a normal schedule to me. Think about the Aussies doing these meets….all are HUGE travel meets for them but they are used to that.

Ol' Longhorn
Reply to  Heyitsme
3 years ago

But great marketing for the key Olympic hopefuls. Has to help their individual brands in the leadup to the big payday. They wouldn’t be doing it otherwise.

Reply to  Pkwater
3 years ago

Let’s not forget that they tried to start this last year but Fina denied them

Reply to  Pkwater
3 years ago

great point – maybe after Tokyo , it will get more attention & success . Lets wait & see

Spotted Zebra
Reply to  Pkwater
3 years ago

There are certainly drawbacks to launching the inaugural ISL season in an Olympic year, and (as others have noted) the main one is likely that some swimmers will not want to change their training routine by adding international travel and competition this fall. However, at the same time, there are significant advantages to starting the ISL this year. The major benefit is probably that ISL organizers and broadcasters have an opportunity to learn from this year and improve the league before the Olympic Games. The Olympics will hopefully attract new spectators to the ISL thanks to the popularity of swimming at the Olympics, and the proximity of the Olympics to the second ISL season (July-August and then September). Ideally, thanks… Read more »

Reply to  Spotted Zebra
3 years ago

The main question actually is how popular ISL will be next year among swimmers. Swimswam published some interviews with swimmers who are excited about these first meets. But look who they are. They are all at the top: Campbell, Dressel, Sjostrom, Manaudou, Ledecky, Hosszu. What about those who are in the middle. Those who are good performers but don’t see much advantage of being ISL member.
Also how many of Chupkov will we see next season. He said “no” to ISL but told “yes” to military games in China. If it was his decision but not the forced one then there is an example of how some swimmers may prefer making money some other way than ISL.

Corn Pop
Reply to  Yozhik
3 years ago

He would get a military rank . Money he can get anytime ..

CT Swim Fan
3 years ago

Why did these people sign up for this league if they are not going to go to the meets? Too many no shows. Going to the meets should be a requirement for being on one of the teams. If your schedule does not allow you to go to all of the meets, decline the invitation to be on one of the teams. Pretty simple.

Reply to  CT Swim Fan
3 years ago

agreed – ridiculous contradiction indeed for some of those swimmers

Reply to  CT Swim Fan
3 years ago

the rules may change as ISL become more mature as a league and so does the teams. We do see some swimmers pull out after signing when they decided they are not going to be able to go to the meets. So I think most pro swimmers are mindful of their participation.

Right now, ISL is completely outside of the existing swimming structure to coordinate with schedule, etc (like the UK training camp). If they have to wait until they have all the stars line up, ISL won’t be able to take off at all.

Everything considered, I think the swimmer attendance is better than expected, considered this is Olympic year. This means the pro swimmers wanted this… Read more »

Reply to  CT Swim Fan
3 years ago

In Leah smith’s defense, she’s recovering from a neck injury.

Reply to  Thomas
3 years ago

Maybe that’s true. But, this is becoming a pattern for her, and she doesn’t look all that injured on her social media posts.

Reply to  GatorChomp
3 years ago

Kind of a nothing argument, Baker didn’t look injured last year in her photos when she had her rib injury either

Ol' Longhorn
Reply to  Dudeman
3 years ago

Not to mention Dressel the summer of the horrific motorcycle crash.

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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