Disclaimer: Swim of the Week is not meant to be a conclusive selection of the best overall swim of the week, but rather one Featured Swim to be explored in deeper detail. The Swim of the Week is an opportunity to take a closer look at the context of one of the many fast swims this week, perhaps a swim that slipped through the cracks as others grabbed the headlines, or a race we didn’t get to examine as closely in the flood of weekly meets.
Some of the top performers through the early stages of the International Swimming League’s (ISL) third season have come as no surprise.
Reigning league MVP Caeleb Dressel and Hong Kong’s Olympic standout Siobhan Haughey have picked up where they left off last season, and while a few other names have exceeded expectations, such as Coleman Stewart and Leah Neale, no one has come out of left field and made an immediate impact more so than Ingrid Wilm.
Wilm’s breakout showing is best illustrated by her swim in the women’s 100 backstroke during Match 4 last weekend, winning the event in a time of 55.94 to break the Canadian Record previously held by Kylie Masse (56.02).
Wilm was certainly not expected to be scoring big points and contributing crucial relay legs when she was a post-draft free-agent pickup by the LA Current over the summer, but she’s done just that.
A former U SPORTS swimmer for the University of British Columbia, Wilm had been a standout on the Canadian university scene up until 2019, including hitting a short course-meter 100 back best of 57.75 in February 2017.
In the long course pool, Wilm set a 100 back PB of 1:00.46 later that summer, and both marks would end up staying on the books for four years.
The Calgary, Alberta native returned home to swim for the Cascade Swim Club in the fall of 2019, and ultimately had a breakthrough by cracking the 1:00 barrier in the long course 100 back for the first time at the Canadian Olympic Trials in June (59.88).
Having also lowered a six-year-old PB in the 200 back at that meet in 2:12.76, Wilm raced three more times over the summer in Calgary, gearing her up for her debut ISL season.
She saw immediate success in her first match (Match 2) in late August, hitting best times in the 100 back (57.28) and 200 back (2:04.55) for a pair of runner-up finishes and big points for the LA Current.
But those swims were simply an appetizer for what was to come the following week, as Wilm dropped that stunning 55.94 to win the 100 back over a stacked field that included American Record holder Olivia Smoliga and the DC Trident duo of Ali DeLoof and Linnea Mack.
With that performance, Wilm completely skipped the 56s, dropping her best from 57.08 (set in the 400 medley relay one day prior) to 55.94, something typically only done by age group swimmers in events 100 meters or less.
In addition to hitting what was at the time new PB in the 100 back leading off the medley relay the day prior, Wilm also took third in the 50 back (26.28) and second in the 200 back (2:03.30), also new best times.
Through Day 1 of her third ISL appearance, Match 5, Wilm continued to impress by taking third in the 200 back in another lifetime best of 2:02.82, third in the 50 back (26.51), and leading off LA’s ‘A’ 400 medley relay in 56.36.
Wilm and now former SCM 100 back Canadian Record-holder Kylie Masse raced head-to-head several times at the U SPORTS Championships throughout their university careers, racing for rival schools UBC and Toronto, respectively, with Wilm typically having to settle for silver or bronze due to the dominance of Masse.
With Masse having beaten her head-to-head three times on Day 1, including going .03 quicker leading off Toronto’s medley relay, the two familiar foes will clash for the first time in the individual 100 back since Wilm stole her Canadian Record last Sunday.