By Sharon Robb
BUDAPEST, Hungary, November 21, 2020—The International Swimming League championship final lived up to expectations Saturday on opening day at Duna Arena.
The Cali Condors, led by Caeleb Dressel’s back-to-back short course would records within 40 minutes, are sitting pretty heading into Sunday’s second day of competition.
The Cali Condors lead defending ISL champion Energy Standard, 267-239.5 points. The London Roar is third with 199.5 and LA Current is fourth with 177.
With the London Roar unable to grab a skins choice in either event, they are technically out of the race for the title. LA Current also appears to not have enough to challenge on the final day.
South Florida Aquatic Club’s Alia Atkinson turned in her fastest performance of the year in the 50-meter breaststroke in 28.88, swimming in Lane 7, to take the bronze. Lilly King of the Cali Condors won in 28.77 and teenager Benedetta Pilato of Energy Standard was second in 28.81. Her reaction time was 0.63 off the block, fastest among the field.
Atkinson, 31, a four-time Jamaican Olympian, has four of the fastest performances of all time in the 50 breaststroke short course meters event, including the top two (28.56 and 28.64).
An ISL meet record of four world records were shattered, including two by Dressel, a Clay High School and Bolles Club alum.
Dressel was in beast mode as he broke the 100-meter butterfly in 47.78 (he went out in 22.44 pushed by Tom Shields’ 22.38 split) and then lowered his own 50-meter freestyle in 20.16 with an 0.64 reaction time off the block. He also lowered his American record in the 100-meter freestyle in 45.18 on the 4×100 relay leadoff leg.
Energy Standard broke the women’s 4×100-meter freestyle relay in 3:25.37, but it will be recorded as a world best since all four relay members are from different countries.
Later in the meet the Cali Condors’ women’s 400-meter medley relay broke the world record (3:44.52) that will count since all four swimmers are Americans (Olivia Smoliga, Lilly King, Kelsi Worrell Dahlia and Erika Brown).
Energy Standard’s Kliment Kolesnikov set a world record in the 100-meter backstroke in 48.58, leadoff leg on the 400 medley relay.
King set an American record in the 200-meter breaststroke in 2:15.56 and 50-meter breaststroke to become the second fastest all-time behind Atkinson.
In other events:
Beryl Gastaldello of LA Current won the 100-meter butterfy in 55.34 and handed Sarah Sjostrom of Energy Standard her first loss of the season, who finished second in 55.37. Sjostrom came back to win the 50 freestyle in 23.55.
Beata Nelson of Cali Condors led from start to finish to win the 200-meter backstroke in 2:00.27.
Evgeny Rylov of Energy Standard won the 200-meter backstroke in 1:46.37 ahead of Bolles alum Ryan Murphy of LA Current in 1:47.41.
Kirill Prigoda of London Roar won the 200-meter breaststroke in 2:01.71.
Andrew Seliskar of LA Current won the 200-meter individual medley in 1:51.53.
Sydney Pickrem of London Roar won the 200-meter individual medley in 2:04.00.
Ilya Shymanovich of Energy Standard won the 50-meter breaststroke in 25.48 out-touching Adam Peaty of London Roar in 25.50.
Olivia Smoliga of Cali Condors won the 50-meter backstroke in 25.83.
Ryan Murphy came back to win the 50-meter backstroke in 22.54. American Heritage alum and Trinidad and Tobago’s Dylan Carter of LA Current was seventh in 23.95.
Hali Flickinger of Cali Condors won the 400-meter freestyle in 3:58.77.
Tom Dean of London Roar won the 400-meter freestyle in 3:36.56.
Sharon Robb can be reached at email@example.com