Relay Analysis: Shields Scorches 48.14 Fly Leg, Dressel Anchors In 44.91


The Cali women and LA men went two-for-two in relays on the opening day of the second ISL semi-final, with the two clubs sitting a comfortable 1-2 in the standings as they look poised to return to the championship final.

While there were notable splits abound on the relays, the two most eye-popping swims came in the men’s events. In the medley, Tom Shields produced one of the fastest fly legs in history in 48.14, while in the free relay, Caeleb Dressel joined an elite club with a sub-45 anchor split.

Let’s dive into the splits.

Women’s 400 Freestyle Relay


Swimmer Split
Olivia Smoliga (CAC) 51.89
Anastasia Gorbenko (LAC) 52.58
Claire Fisch (TOR) 52.76
Anika Apostalon (TOR) 53.02
Kendyl Stewart (LAC) 53.86
Veronika Andrusenko (IRO) 54.08
Maria Ugolkova (IRO) 54.18
Veronica Burchill (CAC) 54.28

Olivia Smoliga had made her way under 52 seconds for the first time in Match 10 (51.95), and further improved her personal best leading off in 51.89 here to give Cali the early lead over Anastasia Gorbenko and the LA Current. Gorbenko was just over two-tenths off her best in 52.58.

Claire Fisch broke 53 seconds for the first time on Toronto’s ‘B’ squad in 52.76.

Flying Splits

Swimmer Split
Andi Murez (LAC) 51.63
Erika Brown (CAC) 51.97
Abbey Weitzeil (LAC) 51.97
Natalie Hinds (CAC) 52.12
Michelle Coleman (TOR) 52.36
Allison Schmitt (CAC) 52.54
Aly Tetzloff (LAC) 52.54
Valerie van Roon (IRO) 52.55
Louise Hansson (TOR) 52.62
Alyssa Marsh (LAC) 52.66
Rebecca Smith (TOR) 52.86
Isabella Hindley (IRO) 53.05
Julie Meynen (TOR) 53.09
Katie McLaughlin (LAC) 53.13
Hali Flickinger (CAC) 53.30
Kelsi Dahlia (CAC) 53.35
Daria Zevina (IRO) 53.76
Lisa Bratton (TOR) 53.87
Emilie Beckmann (IRO) 53.99
Claire Rasmus (LAC) 54.03
Lia Neal (CAC) 54.03
Anna Egorova (TOR) 54.09
Danica Ludlow (IRO) 55.28
Daria K Ustinova (IRO) 55.60

The top split in the field went to LA’s Andi Murez, who anchored the Current home in 51.63 to make it a real close race. She ultimately ran out of room, finishing two-tenths behind Cali at the wall, but made up an impressive half-second on Natalie Hinds (52.12).

Erika Brown and Abbey Weitzeil put up identical 51.97s swimming the second leg — Brown has been sub-52 now in three straight matches, while Weitzeil was off of what she would produce later anchoring the medley (51.22).

Toronto was in no-man’s land in third, with Michelle Coleman putting up their fastest leg in 52.36.

Men’s 400 Freestyle Relay


Swimmer Split
Maxime Rooney (LAC) 46.26
Yuri Kisil (TOR) 46.63
Kacper Majchrzak (CAC) 46.74
Apostolos Christou (LAC) 47.11
Clement Mignon (IRO) 47.41
Tate Jackson (CAC) 47.69
Ramon Klenz (IRO) 47.89
Cole Pratt (TOR) 48.18

After the Condor women beat LA by two-tenths in the women’s free relay, the Current men returned the favor by edging the Cali men by the exact same margin.

Maxime Rooney put LA in front early, going under his personal best time of 46.54 in 46.26. Yuri Kisil put Toronto in second, also under his PB in 46.63, and Kacper Majchrzak kept Cali close in 46.74.

Flying Splits

Swimmer Split
Caeleb Dressel (CAC) 44.91
Kristian Gkolomeev (LAC) 45.76
Justin Ress (CAC) 45.86
Blake Pieroni (TOR) 46.02
Tom Shields (LAC) 46.05
Marco Ferreira (LAC) 46.40
Brent Hayden (TOR) 46.48
Michael Chadwick (TOR) 46.67
Dylan Carter (LAC) 46.71
Thom de Boer (IRO) 46.83
Khader Baqlah (CAC) 46.84
Fernando Scheffer (LAC) 46.96
Maxim Lobanovszkij (IRO) 47.10
Emre Sakci (IRO) 47.12
Artyom Machekin (IRO) 47.35
Marcin Cieslak (CAC) 47.47
Andrew Seliskar (LAC) 48.12
Jay Lelliott (TOR) 48.27
Gunnar Bentz (CAC) 48.33
Radoslaw Kawecki (CAC) 48.51
Andriy Govorov (TOR) 48.65
Yakov Toumarkin (IRO) 48.76
Leonardo Santos (IRO) 48.91
Finlay Knox (TOR) 49.81

Tom Shields (46.05) and Kristian Gkolomeev (45.76) had a pair of crucial legs for the Current, as they handed Dylan Carter a two-second buffer on Caeleb Dressel for the anchor leg.

Carter would need all of that margin, as Dressel ate up 1.80 seconds on him over four lengths to split 44.91, the fifth-fastest split in history according to USA Swimming’s database. The quickest-ever is a 44.67 from Cesar Cielo in 2014, while the individual world record was set in 2008 by Amaury Leveaux in 44.94.

Dressel, who owns a flat-start best of 45.22, had his previous fastest split come in Match 10 at 45.28.

Justin Ress also threw down a 45.86 split for Cali, but Marcin Cieslak‘s 47.47 dug them too big a hole for Dressel to climb out of.

The Titans had all four men in the 46s to take third, including a standout 46.02 from Blake Pieroni.

Women’s 400 Medley Relay

Backstroke Lead-offs

Swimmer Split
Olivia Smoliga (CAC) 56.11
Kylie Masse (TOR) 56.71
Beata Nelson (CAC) 56.85
Ali Deloof (LAC) 56.99
Lisa Bratton (TOR) 58.48
Daria Zevina (IRO) 58.66
Kendyl Stewart (LAC) 59.03
Katinka Hosszu (IRO) 59.59

Breaststroke Splits

Swimmer Split
Lilly King (CAC) 1:04.26
Jenna Laukkanen (IRO) 1:04.27
Anastasia Gorbenko (LAC) 1:04.88
Molly Hannis (CAC) 1:04.90
Kelsey Wog (TOR) 1:05.26
Jocelyn Ulyett (TOR) 1:05.49
Julia Sebastian (LAC) 1:05.55
Ida Hulkko (IRO) 1:06.11

Butterfly Splits

Swimmer Split
Louise Hansson (TOR) 55.90
Kelsi Dahlia (CAC) 56.05
Beryl Gastaldello (LAC) 56.33
Emilie Beckmann (IRO) 56.93
Rebecca Smith (TOR) 57.07
Maria Ugolkova (IRO) 57.62
Natalie Hinds (CAC) 57.66
Katie McLaughlin (LAC) 57.87

Freestyle Splits

Swimmer Split
Abbey Weitzeil (LAC) 51.22
Erika Brown (CAC) 51.67
Ranomi Kromowidjojo (IRO) 51.75
Claire Fisch (TOR) 52.26
Michelle Coleman (TOR) 52.27
Valerie van Roon (IRO) 52.31
Allison Schmitt (CAC) 52.37
Alyssa Marsh (LAC) 52.73

Steady as ever, Smoliga got the Condors out to a lead of six-tenths off the backstroke leg in the medley, splitting 56.11 to Kylie Masse‘s 56.71. Smoliga’s fastest swim this season in the 100 back came back in Match 1 in 55.62. Ali Deloof was 56.99 for LA — almost three-tenths off her season-best of 56.72.

While it was well off her best split, Lilly King was still the fastest woman on breaststroke, turning in a 1:04.26 to give Cali a further seven-tenths on LA, who had Gorbenko go 1:04.88.

Louise Hansson was the only flyer sub-56 for Toronto, while both Kelsi Dahlia and Beryl Gastaldello were well off their times from the individual event for Cali and LA.

Weitzeil had the top anchor split for LA in 51.22, while Erika Brown notched her second 51-second free leg of the day to give Cali the easy win in 3:48.09. Weitzeil set the American Record individually less than a week ago in 51.26.

Men’s 400 Medley Relay

The men’s event was a much tighter affair, with LA, Cali and Iron all right in the thick of it through the final exchange.

Backstroke Lead-offs

Swimmer Split
Ryan Murphy (LAC) 49.90
Coleman Stewart (CAC) 49.92
Robert Glinta (IRO) 49.96
Radoslaw Kawecki (CAC) 50.31
Guilherme Basseto (IRO) 50.32
Shane Ryan (TOR) 50.42
Apostolos Christou (LAC) 51.09
Cole Pratt (TOR) 51.30

Breaststroke Splits

Swimmer Split
Felipe Silva (LAC) 56.51
Emre Sakci (IRO) 56.55
Will Licon (LAC) 56.58
Nic Fink (CAC) 56.76
Anton McKee (TOR) 56.84
Ross Murdoch (IRO) 57.51
Kevin Cordes (CAC) 57.89
Erik Persson (TOR) 58.01

Butterfly Splits

Swimmer Split
Tom Shields (LAC) 48.14
Caeleb Dressel (CAC) 48.92
Nicholas Santos (IRO) 49.67
Marcin Cieslak (CAC) 50.58
Ramon Klenz (IRO) 50.62
Josh Prenot (LAC) 50.73
Finlay Knox (TOR) 50.84
Blake Pieroni (TOR) 51.67

Freestyle Splits

Swimmer Split
Justin Ress (CAC) 45.36
Yuri Kisil (TOR) 46.03
Maxime Rooney (LAC) 46.06
Kacper Majchrzak (CAC) 46.54
Marco Ferreira (LAC) 46.78
Brent Hayden (TOR) 46.78
Marco Orsi (IRO) 47.09
Clement Mignon (IRO) 48.18

After Ryan MurphyColeman Stewart and Robert Glinta all put up 49.9s on backstroke, the club’s three breaststrokers were tightly bunched in their splits as well, with the Current’s Felipe Silva leading the pack in 56.51.

The butterfly leg, however, was the game-changer.

Going head-to-head with Dressel, who was clearly on good form, Tom Shields dropped the second-fastest butterfly leg in history in 48.14, handing Maxime Rooney over a second advantage heading into the freestyle.

Shields’ split only trails his 48.07 from the 2015 Duel in the Pool — though it’s not as fast as the individual world record of 48.08 from Chad Le Clos. Shields had been 48.30 earlier in the season.

While it was his fastest of 2020 by half-a-second, Dressel still lost almost eight-tenths of ground with his split of 48.92.

Justin Ress did everything he could on the anchor, producing his fastest leg ever in 45.36 to pull Cali within .35 of LA at the finish.

Rooney managed to close things out in 46.06, while Yuri Kisil had another fast relay swim for Toronto in 46.03.

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Wheel Snipe Seli
2 years ago

Tom Shields is absolutely killing it and I’m so for it.

2 years ago

My main takeaway here is that Cielo split a 44.6 in 2014. Holy moly that is fast.

Reply to  nerd
2 years ago

Chasing down locthe on the medley relay

0,15 RT 21,15 23,52

Reply to  Rafael
2 years ago

21.1 going out is…something else.

2 years ago

Had to look up the WR for 100 fly (knew it was le Clos) bc don’t have much of a reference when it comes to SCM times. Found it interesting that of the 18 WR’s there are 17 different swimmers on the list.

About James Sutherland

James Sutherland

James swam five years at Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario, specializing in the 200 free, back and IM. He finished up his collegiate swimming career in 2018, graduating with a bachelor's degree in economics. In 2019 he completed his graduate degree in sports journalism. Prior to going to Laurentian, James swam …

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