Toronto Titans Announce World Champions Masse, Hayden As Team Captains

The Toronto Titans will have two of Canada’s most successful swimmers in history lead them during their debut season of the International Swimming League (ISL).

The Titans announced reigning world champion Kylie Masse as their team captain and 2007 world champ Brent Hayden as the club’s vice-captain on Wednesday via Instagram.

The Titans are one of two new clubs in the ISL’s second season, joining the Tokyo Horned Frogs, marking the first two teams in the league that are not based out of Europe or the United States. While Tokyo has yet to announce its captains, the eight teams who competed last season made their captains public on Tuesday.

Teams are required to have captains under league rules, though exactly what the role entails is up to each individual club.

Masse, 24, was the Olympic bronze medalist at the 2016 Games in the women’s 100 backstroke, and has followed up by winning consecutive world titles in the event.

At the 2017 World Championships in Budapest, the University of Toronto swimmer broke the world record in the event in a time of 58.10. Though the record has been lowered since, with Masse currently ranked as the third-fastest swimmer ever, she successfully defended her title last summer in Gwangju in 58.60.

Also the 2018 Commonwealth and Pan Pacific champion in the women’s 100 back, Masse was the first signing in Titans history back in March, and proved in the ISL’s inaugural season that she can be a valuable contributor in this format.

Competing for the Cali Condors, who placed third in the league finale, Masse won the women’s 200 back at the ISL’s first two matches, and went on to finish with 102.0 total points to rank 15th among women for the season.

Hayden, 36, will make his ISL debut this year after announcing he was coming out of retirement in October of 2019, shortly after last season had already gotten underway.

The Maple Ridge, B.C., native was the 2007 world champion in the men’s 100 freestyle, and went on to win a bronze medal in the event at the 2012 Olympics in London before stepping away from the sport competitively for seven years.

Also the 2006 Pan Pac gold medalist in the 100 freestyle and the double gold medalist in the 50 and 100 free at the 2010 Commonwealth Games, Hayden had shown promise in his comeback, which initially had the sole purpose of competing at the 2020 Summer Olympics, prior to things being halted due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This included an Olympic “A” time in the 50 free at the Des Moines Pro Series in early March (21.97).

While his primary focus has been on long course throughout his career, the three-time Olympian has shown an ability to perform in short course meters in the past. He currently ranks as the 11th-fastest swimmer of all-time in the men’s SCM 100 freestyle (45.56) and tied for fourth in the 200 free (1:40.80) – both swims from 2009.

The Titans will open their season October 24-25, facing off with the Aqua Centurions, LA Current and the Horned Frogs.

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1 month ago

I always struggle with Kylie Masse’s name. With her, Bobby Finke, and Zane Grothe I end up reading it so many times and saying it one way in my head before finally hearing an announcer I trust say it correctly and then immediately forget if what they said confirmed or corrected my way. Ugh, I feel so dumb! Why can’t I remember who does and doesn’t pronounce the “e” at the end?

Reply to  Willswim
1 month ago

I have fumbled over this one more than my fair share – ‘Moss’ is the proper pronunciation. Every time I say it my brain feels like that episode of the Simpsons where the US embassy in Canberra has installed a device to make sure their toilets flush the North American way and not the Australian way.

Reply to  SplashAnnouncer
1 month ago

Thank you!

I’m pretty sure I have the other two correct now, but can you clarify them too?

Reply to  Willswim
1 month ago

Checked with a reliable source, but I might look for a second opinion, “Fink” & “Growthy”.

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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