By Jared Anderson on SwimSwam


The International Swimming League Semifinals have wrapped. Here are five big storylines from semifinal #2’s second day:

1. Dressel Sets World Record, Leads MVP Race

We saw three world records set in this weekend’s semifinals, and one came today. Caeleb Dressel became the first man under 50 seconds in the 100 IM at 49.88.

Though the entire league has mostly conspired to keep Dressel on the bench during the skin races, the Cali Condor has still found a way to take over the league’s MVP race. That’s tough to do, considering MVP is awarded based purely on points scored, and the skins offer huge point windfalls each week.

Dressel has won 6 meet MVPs in 8 ISL meet appearances. He currently leads season MVP scoring by 71.5 points, a margin that no one is likely to overcome in next week’s final.

2. Glinta, Stewart, Ryan Make Men’s Backstrokes Even More Crowded

The men’s backstrokes have been brutal across the league, with multiple teams loaded in that event. Today, Iron’s Robert Glinta added his name to the mix, winning a tough 100 back field and moving up to #4 in the league this year.

Cali’s Coleman Stewart has done much the same thing, taking second in that race and moving to #5 in the league. Stewart also made the skins final in the 50 back and sits 3rd in the league there. Meanwhile Toronto’s Shane Ryan beat all of those names to win the opening round of the skins.

3. Murphy & King Win League-Leading 4th Skin Races

In five meets this year, Ryan Murphy and Lilly King have each won four skin races. Both would likely have five if their teams hadn’t farmed out one race apiece to their teammates.

LA’s Murphy has won four backstroke skin races. He’s been remarkably consistent in all four. Here’s a look at his times in each of his four skin races, plus his individual 50 back times from those meets for comparison:

Round 1 Round 2 Round 3
Individual 50 back
Match #1 22.80 23.28 23.88 22.99
Match #3 22.83 23.61 24.71 23.06
Match #10 22.85 23.54 24.18 22.75
Semifinal #2 22.93 23.76 24.23 22.76

Cali’s King has been just as impressive in her skin races. Here’s the same breakdown of her 50 breaststrokes this year:

Round 1 Round 2 Round 3
Individual 50 breast
Match #1 29.16 29.25 28.90 28.86
Match #8 29.72 29.94 29.04 29.20
Match #10 29.16 29.63 29.24 29.18
Semifinal #2 29.34 29.58 29.15 29.35

Both are likely to get another shot at the skin races next week in the final, if their teams can stay unbeaten in the medley relays.

4. Gastaldello Remains Unbeaten In 100 IM &100 fly amid busy slates

LA Current’s Beryl Gastaldello has been busy, keeping up a Dressel-like schedule in most weeks. She swam 8 times in semifinal #2, and extended her career unbeaten streaks in the 100 IM and 100 fly. Gastaldello has won both 100 IMs she’s entered this season – first in the regular-season finale and then again today in semifinal #2.

She also hasn’t lost a 100 fly this season after not swimming the event at all last season. This week’s win was probably her biggest, beating league record-holder Kelsi Dahlia and taking over the ISL record in 55.32.

5. Cali Men Stepping Up Behind Dressel

We’ve noted all year how reliant the Cali Condor men have been on Dressel’s huge scoring, with their men’s roster (Dressel included) scoring just #6 in the league among 10 teams this year.

This week, though, the Condor men stepped up in a big way. They scored 264.5 points, a season-high against one of the tougher fields they’ve faced. (Prior to this week, the Condors were averaging just 211.5 men’s points per meet).

Here are the main standouts from day 2:

  • Justin Ress stepped up to take second in the 100 free in 46.3. He also had some massive relay splits this week.
  • Eddie Wang re-broke his World Junior Record in the 200 fly, cracking 1:50 at 1:49.89.
  • More surprising, Gunnar Bentz looked like himself for maybe the first time this year, taking third in the 200 fly at 1:52.03.
  • Coleman Stewart was 2nd in the 100 back at 49.66. He also made the skins final, just the second Cali Condor man to make a skins final this year, joining Dressel.
  • Marcin Cieslak completed a 1-2 with Dressel in the 100 IM, and the two lead the ISL ranks this year. He was also third in the 50 fly (22.53).
  • Townley Haas stayed undefeated in the 200 free, but teammate Kacper Majchrzak joined him in a 1-2 punch this week.
  • Nic Fink is finally starting to come around after missing time with injury. He was 57.37 for 4th in the 100 breast today.
  • Mark Szaranek had a breakthrough second-place finish in the 400 IM, going 4:05.19.

Read the full story on SwimSwam: 5 Big Things From Day 2 of the ISL’s Semifinal #2: Murphy & King Win 4th Skins

Source: Swimming – SwimSwam