Nic Fink Leads Match MVP Standings After Day 1, Sarah Sjostrom Leads Season


The team battle looks like it could come down to the wire in the 2021 International Swimming League championship match, especially after a big relay DQ swung momentum from Cali to Energy Standard at the end of day 1.

But there’s an even higher-stakes race on the line for the individual athletes: MVP.

The winner of the match MVP receives $20,000, double what Playoff MVPs scored.

The winner of the season MVP award receives $100,000, with top 10 all receiving at least $10,000.

MVP Race – Match

  1. Nic Fink, Cali Condors – 37
  2. Sarah Sjostrom, Energy Standard – 32
  3. (TIE) Siobhan Haughey, Energy Standard – 26.5
  4. (TIE) Duncan Scott, London Roar – 26.5
  5. Ryan Murphy, LA Current – 24.5
  6. Evgeny Rylov, Energy Standard – 23.0
  7. Anastasiya Shkurdai, Energy Standard – 21.5
  8. Beata Nelson, Cali Condors – 21.0
  9. Caeleb Dressel, Cali Condors, 20.5
  10. Emma McKeon, London Roar – 20.0

Nic Fink, thanks to his big upset in the 50 breaststroke, little upset in the 200 breaststroke, and a lot of Jackpot points takes the day 1 lead in the MVP standings. With most of the swimmers at the top of the standings locked out of the ‘Skins’ standings, this battle could get very interesting.

It doesn’t look like Sjostrom has “big Jackpot” form at this meet, but if Fink can get another one in the 100 breaststroke, and Cali can win the mixed medley relay (which he will likely be on), then he’s got a chance at holding on.

The highest-ranked swimmer in the match MVP standings with a chance at a skins win is #7 Anastasiya Shkurdai, who will swim the 50 backstroke for Energy Standard. She has a 200 backstroke win during this ISL season, and was 2nd in the 50 individually on Friday, so that’s

MVP Race – Season

  1. Sarah Sjostrom, Energy Standard – 482.5
  2. Siobhan Haughey, Energy Standard – 444.0
  3. Beata Nelson, Cali Condors – 383.5
  4. (TIE) Ilya Hymanovich, Energy Standard/Duncan Scott, London Roar – 373.0
  5. Lilly King, Cali Condors – 325
  6. Kelsi Dahlia, Cali Condors – 302
  7. Coleman Stewart, Cali Condors – 285.75
  8. Ranomi Kromowidjojo, Iron – 285.0
  9. Caeleb Dressel, Cali Condors – 279.5

While Energy Standard’s Sarah Sjostrom wasn’t at her best on day 1, she’s doing enough to ensure that she’ll be the Season 3 MVP. That’s her second MVP award in as many ISL seasons.

The only way Sjostrom was realistically going to be caught was if Siobhan Haughey went ham on day 1 (she had a good day, but not a massive Jackpot day), or if the women’s skins race was free, and Haughey finaled while Sjostrom did not.

There was only a little movement on day 1 of the finale (remember: no double points for the final anymore). Caeleb Dressel jumped Tom Shields into the top 10, largely on the strength of superior Cali relays, with both getting the chance to swim butterfly skins on Saturday.

Kelsi Dahlia’s World Record wasn’t enough to move her up. A relay DQ wasn’t enough to move either her or Lilly King down, either (the next swimmer behind them, Ranomi Kromowidjojo, isn’t in the final).

The biggest movement was Ilya Shymanovich, who was upset twice on Friday by Cali’s Nic Fink, in the 50 and 200 breaststroke. He’s used to winning those races and getting big Jackpot points in the 50 breast. He’s in very little danger of sliding lower than 5th, however, regardless of what happens on Saturday.

Rank Prize
1st $100,000
2nd $80,000
3rd $60,000
4th $50,000
5th $40,000
6th $30,000
7th $25,000
8th $20,000
9th $15,000
10th $10,000
Total $430,000

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1 year ago

Looking at this I’d just like Dunks to overtake Shymanovich in the season MVP standings

Reply to  CY~
1 year ago

In theory he certainly could. Shymanovich only has one individual left. Assuming Fink doesn’t completely fall apart tomorrow, at most Shymanovic should get a 24 point jackpot. He’ll probably win the MMR for another 6-8 points as well. So best case scenario he’s looking at 32 points tomorrow, but if he loses the 100 breast it’ll be more like 15 points.

Duncan Scott should get 4-5 points in the 100IM and, assuming he tops the checkpoint and wins the 400IM, 15-22 points in that.

So yeah. Assuming they both win, it all comes down to how big the jackpots in the 100 breast and 400IM are.

Worst case scenario he’s fifth because the top 5 are way too far… Read more »

Reply to  CY~
1 year ago

Yes, I kind of hope Fink upsets Shymanovich once again in the 100 breast which could even possibly earn him the final match MVP title.

At this point, I have no idea who’s going to get the match MVP, I’d say Dunks has a great chance too.

Reply to  miwski
1 year ago

I would love this but I don’t think I see it. Even if he swims a PB in both the events he has left, his max points is around 58, and Fink, Sjostrom and Haughey are all likely to beat that.

Reply to  Sub13
1 year ago

If Fink really takes the win in 100 breast, he surely deserves the MVP.
As for Sjostrom, I think there is a possibility that she’s not going to get as many points as expected given her form on Day 1.
Despite being such a huge fan of Haughey, I think Mckeon is going to win the 100 free, so the only possibility for Haughey to get the MVP would be pulling a huge jackpot in 200 free.

Dunks is still in the line. Fun MVP race to watch, isn’t it?

Reply to  miwski
1 year ago

And if Fink wins the 100 breast, it’s pretty much confirmed that Dunks is going to get 4th in the overall MVP standings, which is still a good thing.

Reply to  miwski
1 year ago

I hope you’re right about Emma and Duncan! Seeing an Emma win and a Duncan MVP after all the bad luck the Roar have had would be fantastic.

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder/co-owner of 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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