SwimSwam Pulse is a recurring feature tracking and analyzing the results of our periodic A3 Performance Polls. You can cast your vote in our newest poll on the SwimSwam homepage, about halfway down the page on the right side, or you can find the poll embedded at the bottom of this post.
Our most recent poll asked SwimSwam readers which club has the best chance to break into the International Swimming League (ISL) final in Season 3 after the same four have advanced to the last meet of the season in each of the past two years:
Question: Which ISL club has the best chance to break into the Grand Finale in Season 3?
- Tokyo Frog Kings – 36.4%
- Toronto Titans – 22.4%
- DC Trident – 15.8%
- Aqua Centurions – 11.8%
- Iron – 9.4%
- NY Breakers – 4.2%
The four best clubs through the first two seasons of the ISL have been the same—Cali Condors, Energy Standard, London Roar and LA Current—and there’s been a fairly large discrepancy in the strength of the top-four clubs and the rest of the league thus far.
And while the aforementioned four may be favored to return to the final for a third straight season, readers were asked to pick which of the remaining six clubs has the best opportunity to disrupt the norm.
The Tokyo Frog Kings came out on top with more than 36 percent of the vote, having officially placed fifth last season by scoring the most semi-final points among non-finalists.
The poll required a bit more knowledge (and maybe even some research) than most, with ISL rosters going through a myriad of changes in the offseason and whether or not certain swimmers will show up at the beginning of the season (or at all) still up in the air in certain respects.
That holds especially true for the Frog Kings, who have been reluctant to release their lineup to open the season in Naples.
With that being said, the team does a boast a strong roster of swimmers, with the men’s side led by short course sprinting dynamo Vlad Morozov, SCM 400 IM world record holder Daiya Seto, and Tokyo Olympic gold medalists Zac Stubblety-Cook (200 breaststroke) and Bowe Becker (400 free relay). The women’s team had a couple of nice offseason pickups, including NCAA stud and Olympic medalist Paige Madden.
The Toronto Titans, who, along with Tokyo, were an expansion club last season, were the second-highest vote-getters with 22.4 percent.
The team has a strong core of Canadians, led by women’s backstroker Kylie Masse, but they’ve got two key additions in the form of Kayla Sanchez and 15-year-old Olympic finalist Summer McIntosh. The men’s team is looking rather strong as well, including filling one void from last season on butterfly by adding former London Roar Marius Kusch.
The poll results ultimately seem to indicate that there’s no surefire pick—the lineups are difficult to project, and the top-four teams remain incredibly strong. But fans seem to be more optimistic about last season’s two expansion teams than they do about the other four, who have struggled to be competitive in the league thus far.
The DC Trident received the most votes among the four original clubs, buoyed by the addition of Ryan Hoffer in the offseason, who will combine nicely with Zach Apple, who was a sprinting stud last season.
Below, vote in our new A3 Performance Poll, which asks voters to pick the sprinter that will make the biggest impact in the NCAA as a freshman:
The A3 Performance Poll is courtesy of A3 Performance, a SwimSwam partner.