The New York Breakers of the International Swimming League have added 3 new faces to their roster for this weekend’s US Derby meet at the University of Maryland. Brendon Smith and Mikkayla Sheridan will join a roster that includes fellow Australians Madi Wilson and Clyde Lewis this weekend. The team will also add University of Tennessee-based Ryan Coetzee to their roster for the Derby.
The Breakers have a 5th Australian on their team, Jack McLoughlin, but McLoughlin is absent from the team’s lineup for their final meet of the season.
Smith finished in 2nd place at October’s Australian Short Course Championships in the 400 free and earlier this year finished 2nd in the 400 IM at the Australian Swimming Championships in long course.
Smith’s best times:
|LCM Best||SCM Best|
The 24-year old Sheridan was a member of Australia’s team for the 2018 Pan Pacific Championships and World Championships. She won a gold medal at the Pan Pacific Championships in the 800 free relay.
Sheridan’s best times:
|LCM Best||SCM Best|
Coetzee, meanwhile, finished a 9-time All-American career at the University of Tennessee in 2018. He’s another South African on a roster full of ties to the country – general manager Tina Andrew and head coach Peter Andrew are both South African by birth, and the team has South Americans Chris Reid and Brad Tandy on the roster as well.
Coetzee is primarily a butterflier, and was on South Africa’s team for the 2019 World Championships. He was just 36th in the 50 fly and 30th in the 100 fly at Worlds, but both times were well-off his bests.
Coetzee’s best times:
|LCM Best||SCM Best||SCY Best|
All 3 swimmers are direct replacements for key Breakers who will be missing this weekend. Smith will replace Jonathan Gomez, who struggled through his first 2 meets with the Breakers scoring a net of just 3 points in 2 races in Budapest (including a 1 point penalty). He will miss the meet with an undisclosed health issue. While the change was driven by a health issue, after a breakout summer, the move could be an upgrade for the Breakers – though on paper, Smith doesn’t replace Gomez in his best event, the 200 fly.
Sheridan replaces German swimmer Reva Foos who scored 7 points in 2 races for the Breakers in Budapest and was a member of 2 relays. That includes a 5th-place finish in the 200 free (1:56.50) and a 6th-place finish in the 400 free (4:04.99). Sheridan is of similar quality as Foos, so there’s an opportunity for the Breakers to hold serve in that exchange.
Coetzee, meanwhile, will replace Germany’s Marius Kusch, who scored 10 individual points in 3 races in Budapest – including a 3rd-place finish in the 100 fly. He was the Breakers’ best 100 butterflier through the first 2 meets. The Breakers had announced another butterflier, Justin Lynch, but Lynch is not on their roster for Maryland – meaning he won’t make an appearance for the team in 2019.
Both Foos and Kusch represent Germany internationally, as does fellow Breaker Marco Koch, but in spite of their absences this week, neither Foos nor Kusch appear on the start lists for the German Short Course Championships happening this week.
Update: Kusch did wind up swimming at German Nationals.
The team has also announced the addition of 2 new coaches to their staff: Don Wagner, the CEO and head coach of the Phoenix Aquatic Club, and Joe Benjamin, the head coach of Rancho San Dieguito Swim Team.
Wagner is a former head coach at Texas A&M University and the University of Alabama. He also worked at the Fullerton Aquatics Sports Team (FAST) where he coached 4-time Olympic gold medalist and hall of fame swimmer Janet Evans en route to her World Record in the 800 free.
Benjamin was named the San Diego Imperial Swimming Senior Coach of the Year in 2018.
Both coaches have achieved the highest status, level 5, from the American Swimming Coaches’ Association.
“We have an amazing team and exceptional staff and over the past two events, NY Breakers became a family,” General Manager Tina Andrew said. “We came up short of some of our goals at our first 2 meets but we are playing the long game. We are building a solid foundation where the only way is up. We don’t view our results as ‘losing,’ but as ‘learning,’ and we will continue with our team mantra of pushing the envelope and thinking outside of the box until we stand on top of the podium.”
The Breakers finished 4th in Group B action at their first 2 meets, which mathematically eliminates them from contention from the Las Vegas final. While they were beaten soundly by London Roar, the LA Current, and Iron at those meets, Group B was the deeper of the two groups, so the Breakers still have something to race for at the US Derby: an opportunity to pick off the Katie-Ledecky-less DC Trident. The Breakers will have to rely on a deep breaststroke group, which included a sweep of the 200 meter races in Budapest from Emily Escobedo and Marco Koch, and better swimming from vice-captain Michael Andrew to move up in the standings.
|USA ISL TEAM STANDINGS|
|Rank||Team||Season Points||Total Meet Points|
New York Breakers Roster, 2019 US Derby Meet – Maryland
|BLACK, HALEY||CANADA||ANDREW, MICHAEL||USA|
|BLUME, PERNILLE||DENMARK||CHIERIGHINI, MARCELO||BRAZIL|
|DELOOF, ALI||USA||COETZEE, RYAN||SOUTH AFRICA|
|DELOOF, CATIE||USA||DARRAGH, MACK||CANADA|
|DELOOF, GABBY||USA||DELUCCA, JOAO||BRAZIL|
|ESCOBEDO, EMILY||USA||KOCH, MARCO||GERMANY|
|FOOS, REVA||GERMANY||LEWIS, CLYDE||AUSTRALIA|
|LARSON, BREEJA||USA||PERIBONIO, TOMAS||ECUADOR|
|LOVEMORE, TAYLA||SOUTH AFRICA||REID, CHRIS||SOUTH AFRICA|
|NEAL, LIA||USA||SMITH, BRENDON||AUSTRALIA|
|OVERHOLT, EMILY||CANADA||SPAJARI, PEDRO||BRAZIL|
|SHERIDAN, MIKKAYLA||AUSTRALIA||TANDY, BRAD||SOUTH AFRICA|
|WILSON, MADI||AUSTRALIA||TARASEVICH, GRIGORY||RUSSIA|
|WOOD, ABBIE||UK||THORMEYER, MARKUS||CANADA|