2021 INTERNATIONAL SWIMMING LEAGUE – SEASON 3, MATCH 9
- Thursday, September 23 – Friday, September 24
- 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm EST (8:00 pm – 10:00 pm Local Time)
- Piscina Felice Scandone, Naples, Italy
- Short Course Meters (25m – SCM) Format
- ISL Season 3 Schedules, Start Times, & More
- Teams Competing: Energy Standard, London Roar, Toronto Titans, DC Trident
- Omega Live Results
- Match 9 Preview
- Match 9, Day 1: Live Recap
For the second time this season, Sydney Pickrem of the London Roar has left an empty lane in an event at an International Swimming League meet.
Previously, in Match 3, she left an empty lane in the 200 IM. On Friday, her absence was in the 400 IM.
While this is common practice at traditional meets (she also no-showed prelims of the 400 IM and 200 breast at the Olympics, for example), in the points-are-all-that-matters, team scoring format of the ISL, these empty lanes are costly for teams. In this case, Pickrems absence earned her -4 points, plus gave her Jackpotted 1 point to Bailey Andison of the DC Trident. In total, that left DC with 33 points and London with 7 points.
Pickrem hasn’t swum a 400 IM this season, so there’s not much data to go on for expecting a time from her. Last season, her times ranged from 4:23.6 in the semifinals to 4:37.3 in her season opener.
Bailey Andison’s winning time is 4:27.23, which Pickrem is certainly capable of. 2nd place was Katie Shanahan of the London Roar in 4:32.74, and 3rd place was Zsu Jakabos of DC Trident in 4:34.91.
There is also the matter of the checkpoint scoring in the 400 meter race, though Pickrem’s strength is generally on the breaststroke place so she’s not a huge contender for big points there.
Depending on Pickrem’s form (and she generally swam well at the meet), she could have earned a further 6 or 7 points though, resulting in a net swing of somewhere in the neighborhood of 10 points for her team by her absence.
In both cases so far, it hasn’t impacted the team’s final standings. In Match 3, they had more than 200 points to go to catch Energy Standard, and this weekend they were 110.5 points behind the same team for the win.
But as we move into the Playoff rounds in Eindhoven in November and the Finals in January, this kind of point damage could cost her team a placement. It also won’t sit well with the league, given that the empty lane does harm the optics on television.
Coaches do have the ability to make lineup changes before each session of the meet (essentially, at each commercial break).
In her other races, Pickrem won the 200 IM (2:04.59), won the 100 IM (58.40), finished 3rd in the 200 free (1:56.25), and swam a 55.50 split on a 400 free relay. Those are, in general, good times for her. The 200 IM is over a second better than her regular-season best from season 2 (2:05.97).
A team spokesperson has not responded to multiple requests for comment as to discuss why Pickrem has no-showed two races this season, but she could be seen in the team box cheering loudly for her teammates after the miss on Friday.
Last week, London used Laura Lahtinen in the 400 IM. She swam 4:47.80 and missed the minimum time standard, though Shanahan winning that race (4:31.83) meant that the Jackpotted points, at least, stayed with the team. The -1 point for missing the minimum time standard is still a 3 point improvement on a no-show. Lahtinen has been under the minimum time standard this season – she went 4:45.6.
Pickrem is a co-captain of the London Roar along with Kyle Chalmers.
Final Match 9 Standings:
- Energy Standard – 568
- London Roar – 457.5
- Toronto Titans – 380.5
- DC Trident – 357
London’s 2nd-place finish in Match #9, ahead of the Toronto Titans, means that they’ll be the 4th seed headed into the Playoffs. The regular season concludes on Sunday, with the bottom four teams from the regular season racing in a Play-In match next week, with the top two advancing.