Ultra Swim Swimmer of the Month: Ryan Murphy, LA Current

Ultra Swim Swimmer of the Month is a recurring SwimSwam feature shedding light on a U.S.-based swimmer who has proven themselves over the past month. As with any item of recognition, Swimmer of the Month is a subjective exercise meant to highlight one athlete whose work holds noteworthy context – perhaps a swimmer who was visibly outperforming other swimmers over the month, or one whose accomplishments slipped through the cracks among other high-profile swims. If your favorite athlete wasn’t selected, feel free to respectfully recognize them in our comment section.

It’s been a lucrative month for Ryan Murphyso far the only two-time skins event winner in the ISL.

The LA Current backstroker has won the skins twice in two meets, rocketing him to the top of the season’s MVP scoring and the ISL prize money lists.

Murphy has been remarkably consistent even while taking on a tough event slate of 5 events and 7 total swims in each of LA’s two meets so far. Here’s a look at each individual swim in short course meters:

Week 1 Week 2
ISL Season Rank
50 Back 22.99 23.06 2nd
100 Back 49.62 50.42 1st
200 Back 1:48.73 1:48.40 2nd
100 Back (Medley Relay Leadoff) 49.96 49.94
Skins Round 1 22.80 22.83
Skins Round 2 23.28 23.61
Skins Round 3 23.88 24.71

Murphy has focused entirely on backstroke so far, and it’s paid off. He’s within 0.12 seconds of the ISL record in the 100 back, 0.17 seconds of it in the 200 back and about 0.25 from the record in the 50 back.

If the skins ever move away from backstroke, we’ll likely get to see Murphy show off his versatile in freestyle and IM. Murphy was an elite IMer in the NCAA, going 1:40.27 and 1:40.73 in his final two college seasons. Murphy has never swum the 100 IM in short course meters, but could be one of the league’s better swimmers there based on his overall speed. The event comes directly after the 100 back, though, which makes it a tough sell for Murphy as an ISL event.

Maybe more likely is freestyle. In yards, Murphy has had free relay splits as fast as 41.4 in the 100 and 18.4 in the 50. In long course meters, he’s gone 48.8 individually. That would suggest that if Murphy doesn’t have a backstroke skins race to prepare for, we might get to see him on a mixed 4×100 free relay, where he has a shot to split 46.


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Coach Mike 1952
30 days ago

After a tough (understatement!) couple years, it is good to see Ryan coming back strong. The sport of Swimming in general benefits whenever any one of our cherished athletes does well.

30 days ago

Isl 50 back record is 20,55 right? So about 0,5 not 0,25 from it

Reply to  Rafael
30 days ago

20.55 would be… fast

Reply to  Tupperware
30 days ago


About Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson swam for nearly twenty years. Then, Jared Anderson stopped swimming and started writing about swimming. He's not sick of swimming yet. Swimming might be sick of him, though. Jared was a YMCA and high school swimmer in northern Minnesota, and spent his college years swimming breaststroke and occasionally pretending …

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