With the announcement of the International Swimming League (ISL) rosters for all 10 teams, swim enthusiasts everywhere are eyeing where their favorite swimmers have lined up for season 2.
We’re seeing some key swimmers stay with their original teams, such as Kyle Chalmers remaining with London Roar and Sarah Sjostrom keeping to her Energy Standard squad, while others have marched on to new ground.
We’ve also been introduced to exciting new members sprinkled across the league, which will pump new blood into the team-based atmosphere where every point is critical in making it to the Las Vegas final.
Below are a few of the emerging international stars that have infiltrated the season 2 rosters, giving us even more reason to see how this next edition of the league unfolds.
Meg Harris (AUS) – Cali Condors
Australia’s Meg Harris just turned 18 as of this past March, but the versatile swimmer has already made some waves on the international elite swimming scene.
At the 2019 World Junior Championships, Harris landed on the podium in two individual events. She took bronze in the 100m free in 54.48, just .04 off of American Tori Huske’s silver place, and also nailed the same 3rd place result in the 50m free in 24.89. Both times represent the St. Peters Western swimmer’s best-ever.
According to the Australian database, short course-wise Harris hasn’t swum the women’s 50m freestyle since October 2018, when, as a 16-year-old, she produced a PB of 24.73. It was at that same State Teams Championships meet the teen produced her fastest 100m free time as well, hitting 54.19.
Anna Ntountounaki (GRE) – Tokyo Frog Kings
Although a veteran swimmer at 25 years of age, Greece’s Anna Ntountounaki has recently been swimming lights out, becoming the first-ever woman from her nation to earn a meal at a European Short Course Championships.
Last year in Glasgow Ntountounaki put up a time of 56.44, to land on the podium with the bronze in the women’s 100m fly, racking up a new national record in the process. She also finished 7th in the 50m fly at those same Championships, hitting a lifetime best of 25.51.
Mollie O’Callaghan (AUS) – NY Breakers
A true young gun at just 16 years of age, Mollie O’Callaghan of Australia may just prove to be a breakout star of her ISL squad NY Breakers. She’s been turning heads for some time now, having taken 4 relay gold medal and 4 individual medals in her age group at the 2019 Australian Age Swimming Championships.
She finished just off the podium multiple times at last year’s World Junior Championships, posting a time of 1:00.27 for 4th place in the women’s 100m back. She finished in the same spot in the 100m free, logging a mark of 54.84, while also painstakingly finishing 4th once again the 50m back in 27.94.
As such, the teen will be hungry to get her hands on the wall and put some points in the Breakers’ direction.
Shoma Sato (JPN) – Tokyo Frog Kings
As a testament to his talent, 19-year-old Shoma Sato was selected for the inaugural season for the Tokyo Frog Kings, accompanying fellow breaststroke Yasuhiro Koseki.
Sato has shot out of the cannon in the men’s long course 200m breaststroke over the past year, highlighted by his monster PB of 2:07.58 in January of this year. He proved that wasn’t a fluke by posting another solid effort of 2:08.38 at last month’s Waseda/Keio dual, with the outing representing his 2nd fastest ever.
When it comes to short course, Sato is more untested. At the 2019 Japan Short Course Championships he placed 6th in the 200m breast in 2:06.16, but his long course progression points to improvements for ISL and beyond.
Thomas Neill (AUS) – Aqua Centurions
18-year-old Thomas Neill is one of Australia’s most promising young freestylers, breaking into the all-time rankings across the 800m and 1500m freestyle events in long course. Owning personal bests of 7:48.65 and 14:59.19 in the respective races, Neill ranks 7th and 9th among the best-ever Aussies.
With the ISL taking place in short course and with a more sprint-centric focus, however, we’ll have to see how this young gun takes to the format and where he can add the most aquatic value to the heavy-Italian arsenal.
Erika Fairweather (NZL) – NY Breakers
New Zealand’s national record holder Erika Fairweather was on a red-hot streak the past year. She put on an absolute show in the women’s freestyle events at the 2019 NZ Open Championships, claiming wins across the 100m, 200m and 400m freestyle. The then-15-year-old clocked an impressive time of 4:09.33 in the latter to dip under the 4:10 threshold for the first time in her young career and clear the FINA A cut outright for the World Championships.
Although she settled for 17th in Gwangju with a slower time of 4:12.30, Fairweather’s experience there helped propel her to a 200m free gold at last year’s World Junior Championships.
Matt Richards (GBR) – NY Breakers
European Junior champion Matt Richards is set to prove to be an invaluable asset to the NY Breakers squad both individually and on relays. The Royal Wolverhampton-trained teenager recently made the move to Bath and now has Coach Jol Finck fine-tuning his freestyle finesse.
At just 17 years of age, Richards is already Great Britain’s 4th fastest short course 100 freestyler (46.84) and 8th fastest short course 200 freestyle (1:43.64) ever.