London Roar’s Sydney Pickrem Leaves Empty Lane for 2nd Time in 2021 ISL Season

2021 INTERNATIONAL SWIMMING LEAGUE – SEASON 3, MATCH 9

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:

  1. Energy Standard – 568
  2. London Roar – 457.5
  3. Toronto Titans – 380.5
  4. 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.

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Observer
29 days ago

Maybe she is dealing with mental health? Anxiety?

Roguecheck
29 days ago

Got distracted watching Kyle’s reptiles

Pvdh
Reply to  Roguecheck
29 days ago

🤨

Snarky
29 days ago

Optional teammate!

Togger
29 days ago

I want to see the usual bland “fatigued and needed to rest” response from the coach with Kyle winking in the background.,

Corn Pop
Reply to  Togger
29 days ago

Dull .

Last edited 29 days ago by Corn Pop
Murica
Reply to  Corn Pop
29 days ago

I prefer dill pickles tbh. Dole pineapples are good too.

Corn Pop
Reply to  Murica
29 days ago

A pickled cucumber & tinned pineapple ?

Ouch.

Last edited 29 days ago by Corn Pop
Steve Nolan
29 days ago

Should’ve just tried to get those checkpoint points on the way out and then gotten out of the pool.

Sure, you don’t get those if you don’t finish in a certain time, but I’m sure there’s nothing in there if you don’t finish the race 😏 

Ghost
29 days ago

Remember she also stopped at the 50 of 4IM either at worlds or Olympics because supposedly she swallowed water?! She is either hypochondriac or prima Donna or doesn’t like the 4im

Troyy
Reply to  Ghost
29 days ago

It was the 200 IM that she DNS in earlier this season.

Last edited 29 days ago by Troyy
Ghost
Reply to  Troyy
29 days ago

I was taking a few years ago she did it also

SwimCanada
Reply to  Ghost
29 days ago

It was the 200 IM

Chad
Reply to  Ghost
28 days ago

I’m her defense nobody exactly loves the 400 IM

Tracy Kosinski
29 days ago

Disappointing to say the least.

SydFan
29 days ago

Mental block in the 400 IM? Anxiety prior to the race? She should just drop it from her repertoire. She doesn’t owe it to anyone to swim it, but the no-shows are hurting her team.

Troyy
Reply to  SydFan
29 days ago

This is the first time she no-showed in the 400 IM. Last time it was the 200 IM. She also hasn’t swum the 200 BR all season so there must be something going on so maybe Swimswam can get her on the podcast.

Last edited 29 days ago by Troyy
ClassicAmericans
Reply to  Troyy
29 days ago

I would much rather listen Duncan talk about that monster schedule of his than why Sydney doesn’t seem to be the most inspiring Team Captain for the Roar.

Verram
Reply to  ClassicAmericans
29 days ago

Wrong choice for team captain .. should have been Emma McKeon instead or Alia Atkinson

Kelsey
Reply to  Verram
29 days ago

I agree so many other options even Touissant or Campbell would be a better choice than Pickrem

Tyson
Reply to  Kelsey
29 days ago

Campbell would be a great choice had she done the regular season, originally last year I think she was slated to be captain but then Australia’s strict boarder control got in the way

Ol' Longhorn
Reply to  SydFan
29 days ago

I say she passed the IQ test. I mean, seriously, who wants to swim a 400 IM?

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Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder/co-owner of SwimSwam.com. He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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