With the International Swimming League final looming this weekend, it’s time to take a look at the most likely skin race fields in all four strokes.
The depth charts below track season-best times for the top two swimmers on each team in the skin race strokes. We’ve also included lower-ranked options for each team below the top 8.
Obviously, season-bests aren’t a perfect indicator of how well a team would fare in the skins. But they at least give a sense of who would be likely to move on from the first round and which teams would struggle to score points in a specific stroke:
Women’s Skin Race Depth
Medley Relay Ranks
If Energy Standard can hold up its league record and win the women’s medley, they’ll have plenty of options. Energy is probably not picking backstroke. But they could adjust their pick between any of the other three strokes based on which team is giving them the toughest run for the win – picking fly or free would hurt both Cali and London, while breaststroke would basically sink LA if the Current were still in the mix after day 1.
London would almost certainly have to go with backstroke in this field. Even as good as Alia Atkinson is, avoiding Lilly King and Benedetta Pilato has to be a priority.
Cali should probably go breaststroke if they can keep their medley relay win streak alive.
Men’s Skin Race Depth
Medley Relay Ranks
London would probably see breaststroke as its best option. In these ranks, it actually looks like backstroke might hurt Energy Standard the worst, but we’d be willing to bet Kliment Kolesnikov could contend with the top backstrokers – he has yet to swim a 50 back this season.
Energy Standard would again have its pick of just about any stroke. If Cali is Energy’s top challenger after day 1, it might make sense for Energy to pick breaststroke. Even if it helps London, it’ll hurt Cali badly. If London is the top challenger to Energy, Energy Standard could look to fly or free to really sting London. Cali would have to be basically out of the hunt, though, because Dressel would probably pull in major points and Energy couldn’t risk that unless the Condors were effectively eliminated and running third or worse after day 1.
LA would probably go to backstroke, where Murphy has been great.
Cali would probably set up Dressel in either fly or free.
Source: Swimming – SwimSwam