For the 2nd time in 3 ISL seasons, Energy Standard’s Sarah Sjostrom is the International Swimming League season MVP.
The Swede won $120,000 in MVP prize money on the final day of competition in Eindhoven on Sunday: $100,000 for season MVP, and $20,000 for Finals MVP.
This marks the 2nd-straight season where the Finals MVP and season MVP were the same swimmer: last year, Cali’s Caeleb Dressel pulled the double. In season 1, Dressel was Finals MVP, and Sjostrom was season MVP.
Not much changed dramatically in the season-long MVP top 10 at the end of the road. In fact, the top 7 from the MVP standings coming into the meet were the same as the top 7 coming out of the meet.
There was some movement at the bottom of the money: Ranomi Kromowidjojo, whose Iron team didn’t advance to the final, fell out of the top 10. She did race in the “Death Match” at the end of the regular season, so ultimately got the same number of matches as the rest of the swimmers in the top 18, though weaker relays still hurts athletes on weaker teams.
Defending league MVP Caeleb Dressel, who missed several matches this season, climbed into the top 8. Coleman Stewart stayed at #9.
Tom Shields hung on to the 10th spot – his empty lane in the final match in the 200 fly doesn’t actually count against him, he just gets 0 points, otherwise his teammate Wilm would have beaten him by three-quarters of a point.
Wilm finishing 11th in MVP scoring is easily the biggest surprise of the ISL season. Wilm was virtually-unknown internationally before the ISL season, but starting with an early Canadian Record, she turned into one of the true stars, surprise or not, of the 2021 season.
Final top 20 season MVP Standings
|1||Sarah Sjostrom||511.5||Energy Standard||$100,000|
|2||Siobhan Haughey||468||Energy Standard||$80,000|
|3||Ilya Shymanovich||403.5||Energy Standard||$60,000|
|4||Beata Nelson||396||Cali Condors||$50,000|
|5||Duncan Scott||390||London Roar||$40,000|
|6||Lilly King||356||Cali Condors||$30,000|
|7||Kelsi Dahlia||329.5||Cali Condors||$25,000|
|8||Caeleb Dressel||307.5||Cali Condors||$20,000|
|9||Coleman Stewart||298.75||Cali Condors||$15,000|
|10||Tom Shields||290.25||LA Current||$10,000|
|11||Ingrid Wilm||287||LA Current|
|14||Emma McKeon||265.5||London Roar|
|15||Alia Atkinson||260||London Roar|
|16||Louise Hansson||258.25||Toronto Titans|
|17||Nic Fink||257||Cali Condors|
|18||Kyle Masse||255||Toronto Titans|
Tokyo Frog Kings
|20||Justin Ress||252||Cali Condors|
Only one award is given for finals MVP, and that too went to Sarah Sjostrom.
Nic Fink, after another 19-point Jackpot performance in the 100 breaststroke on Sautrday, looked in position to win the $20,000 prize for Finals MVP. Energy Standard loaded Sarah Sjostrom up with four races on the final day, though, and grabbed wins in the 100 IM and 400 medley relay, and 2nd-place finishes in the 50 fly and 100 free.
And so it was her quantity, swimming 8 races, over Fink’s quality, swimming 5 races but getting more Jackpots, that made the difference.
Of note, Fink would have won MVP if the infamous Cali Condors women’s medley relay hadn’t been disqualified. That DQ moved Sjostrom’s Energy Standard relay into first place and earned her 4 more points. The gap between the two was only 1.5 points.
Top 11 Finishers in ISL Match MVP
- Sarah Sjostrom, Energy Standard – 61.0
- Nic Fink, Cali Condors – 59.5
- Hali Flickinger, Cali Condors – 51.0
- Siobhan Haughey, Energy Standard – 50.5
- Caeleb Dressel, Cali Condors – 48.5
- Duncan Scott, London Roar – 43.5
- Anastasiya Shkurdai, Energy Standard – 43.0
- Evgeny Rylov, Energy Standard – 41.0
- Mary0Sophie Harvey, Energy Standard – 34.5
- (TIE) Minna Atherton, London Roar/Ingrid Wilm, LA CUrrent – 34.0