ISL Lewisville, Day Two: Aussie Strength Powers London Roar to Victory; Morozov Takes MVP

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London Roar at the Cowboys game after dusting off the opposition in Dallas ... and an Australian national record in the women's 4x100m medley in the mix ... Photo Courtesy: London Roar

ISL, Lewisville: Day Two Live Results

Despite the absence of several prominent team members, the London Roar uncorked a superb showing on the first day of International Swimming League action in Lewisville, Texas on Saturday, and that momentum continued into the second day of the meet as the Roar routinely built their lead and left the competition well behind. During the two-day meet, the Roar piled up 484.5 points to finish ahead of the L.A. Current, which was second with 457 points, and Team Iron, which totaled 402 points for third place. The N.Y. Breakers finished in fourth with 278.5 points.

London was dealing with the absence of a handful of British stars, including breaststroke virtuoso Adam Peaty, who are attending a National Team training camp. Nonetheless, the firepower of the Roar roster came shining through, with the likes of Emma McKeon, Kyle Chalmers, Minna Atherton and Cate Campbell excelling, and the team dominating in the all-important relay events. See a common thread between those athletes?

ISL London Roar

The London Roar earned their first win of the ISL season thanks to Australian power that countered the absence of several big names.

Yes, the Roar received a huge boost from their Australian contingent, and it didn’t matter in what event. Campbell was her exquisite self in the sprint freestyles while Atherton used the weekend to etch herself as a major factor in the backstroke disciplines. Meanwhile, McKeon did everything that was asked of her, flourishing in individual events and playing a huge role for the Roar’s relays. McKeon ended up as the highest scoring female of the weekend with 42 points and finished second in the overall race, which was won by Team Iron’s Vladimir Morozov.

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London Roar celebrates mauling the opposition – Photo Courtesy: ISL

Given the talent that will join the Roar roster next week in Budapest, the Roar can make an early claim as the favorite to win the ISL title when the championship meet is held in December in Las Vegas. Of course, Energy Standard will have something to say and much will unfold over the next several weeks. For now, though, it is clear that the top teams hail from Europe in the form of London and Energy Standard.

For Morozov, his short-course talent led to his MVP nod. The Russian sprinter won the 50 breaststroke and 50 freestyle on Day One in Lewisville and placed second to Chalmers in the 100 freestyle on Sunday. When it came time for the Skins races, Morozov was ready for the quick turnarounds and boosted his point total for the weekend to 43.5, just clear of McKeon’s 42 points.

Here is what unfolded during the second day of ISL competition in Lewisville (Most recent events at top):

MVP Scoring:

Vladimir Morozov – 43.5 points
Emma McKeon – 42 points
Katinka Hosszu – 39 points
Cate Campbell – 37.5 points

Final Team Scoring:

London Roar – 484.5
L.A. Current – 457
Team Iron – 402
N.Y. Breakers – 278.5

Men’s 50 Freestyle (Skins)

Vladimir Morozov could not have designed a better way to finish off his first ISL meet. Representing Team Iron, Morozov prevailed in the Skins competition, posting the fastest time of the semifinals and final, where he topped Nathan Adrian of the L.A. Current. The Skins victory also cemented Morozov’s status as the MVP of the Lewisville stop, where Morozov added victories in the 50 breaststroke and 50 freestyle.

ISL: Nathan Adrian

Nathan Adrian tries to catch his breath while preparing for the final of the Skins competition.

Adrian put together a gutsy performance to reach the Skins final, as he placed ahead of Michael Andrew (N.Y. Breakers) and Cameron McEvoy (London Roar) in the semifinal round. But Adrian ran out of gas in the final race, a not unexpected turn of events given the athletes only have three minutes between rounds. After Adrian won the quarterfinal round in 21.02, Morozov won his rounds in 21.24 and 22.21, the times showing the impact of quick-turnaround racing.

Women’s 50 Freestyle (Skins)

ISL: Emma McKeon

Emma McKeon discussing strategy for the Skins final with London Roar coach Peter Bishop.

One of the world’s elite sprinters for a decade, the Netherlands’ Ranomi Kromowidjojo proved her worth by capturing the Skins competition for Team Iron over Emma McKeon of the London Roar. Kromowidjojo advanced out of the first round in second place, then was the top finisher in the semifinal and final rounds, her final time of 24.46 inconsequential compared to the victory. McKeon, a late addition to the race for Bronte Campbell, relied on her endurance and gave the Roar key points toward their team triumph.

While Kromowidjojo and McKeon advanced to the finals, Cate Campbell and of the London Roar and Margo Geer of the L.A. Current advanced to the semifinal round. Campbell won the quarterfinal round in 23.83, with Kromowidjojo going 24.09 in the semifinals.

Men’s 200 Butterfly

One of the main storylines at last summer’s World Championships, where he broke Michael Phelps‘ 10-year-old world record in the 200 butterfly, Kristof Milak got the job done in his main event. Milak raced to a winning time of 1:50.94, holding off the L.A. Current tandem of Tom Shields and Jack Conger, who totaled 13 points.

Women’s 200 Butterfly

The highlight of the day for Team Iron was provided as Katinka Hosszu and Zsuzsanna Jakobos teamed for a one-two finish, with Hosszu securing the win in 2:05.52. The victory was Hosszu’s third of the weekend, complementing earlier decisions in the medley events. Third place went to Katie McLaughlin of the L.A. Current.

Team scoring at the second break:

London Roar – 430.5
L.A. Current – 395
Team Iron – 314
N.Y. Breakers – 249.5

Mixed 400 Freestyle Relay

Capturing first place in their fourth of five relays during the weekend, the London Roar picked up those critical double points to pad their lead over the L.A. Current, who took second. The N.Y. Breakers finished third. The Roar benefited from a lineup that featured the foursome of Alexander Graham, Kyle Chalmers, Emma McKeon and Cate Campbell.

Women’s 100 Backstroke

ISL: Minna Atherton

Minna Atherton played a major role in London’s win as she swept the backstroke events.

Completing a sweep of the backstroke events and making a case for MVP honors, Aussie Minna Atherton continued her superb weekend by winning the 100 backstroke in 55.43, the seventh-fastest time in history. Atherton’s triumph complemented Day One wins in the 50 back and 200 back. The L.A. Current managed to keep tabs on the Roar, however, as Kathleen Baker and Amy Bilquist placed second and third.

Men’s 100 Backstroke

ISL: Guilherme Guido

Guilherme Guido of the London Roar celebrates a win over Ryan Murphy and Matt Grevers in the 100 backstroke.

Just as the L.A. Current appeared primed to make another dent in the London Roar’s lead, Brazil’s Guilherme Guido stepped forward to disrupt those plans. Following a victory in the 50 backstroke on Day One, Guido recorded a time of 50.16 to beat Ryan Murphy and Matt Grevers, the past two Olympic champions in the event.

Women’s 50 Butterfly

The L.A. Current has been enjoying a strong second session and are chipping away at the London Roar’s lead, a one-two showing from Beryl Gastaldello and Farida Osman doing considerable damage in the 50 fly. Gastaldello won the race in 25.15 and helped the Current tally 16 points. Third place went to Holly Barratt of the Roar.

Men’s 50 Butterfly

In what was a mild upset, Team Iron’s Szebesztian Szabo came out on top in the two-lap butterfly by upending American Tom Shields of the L.A. Current. Szabo checked in with a winning time of 22.47 to give Iron a second straight event win. Third place went to Michael Andrew of the N.Y. Breakers.

Women’s 200 Individual Medley

Olympic and world champion Katinka Hosszu was untouchable in her prime event as she led Team Iron to the nine points awarded to the top finisher with a time of 2:06.22. Sydney Pickrem supplied the London Roar with a second-place finish while Anastasia Gorbenko earned third for the L.A. Current.

Men’s 200 Individual Medley

Someone had to stop the roll of the London Roar and, at least temporarily, Andrew Seliskar stepped forward and occupied that duty. Seliskar led a one-three showing for the L.A. Current, winning in a time of 1:54.17, and receiving support from Josh Prenot in third place. Team Iron’s Gunnar Bentz, the only American on the roster, grabbed second place.

Team scoring at the first break:

London Roar – 347.5
L.A. Current – 304
Team Iron – 251
N.Y. Breakers – 196.5

Women’s 400 Medley Relay

Off the strength of Minna Atherton’s opening backstroke leg, the London Roar posted a runaway victory in 3:47.91, the L.A. Current and Team Iron placing second and third. Atherton covered the backstroke leg in 55.45, less than a half-second off the world record for the 100 backstroke. She then watched Jess Hansen, Emma McKeon and Cate Campbell maintain their team’s lead and build their margin in the team standings 50 43.5 points.

Roar’s 3:47.91 quartet was all-Australian. As such, a national record was established. The standard had stood at 3:48.88 since Australia claimed the World short-course crown in 2010. At the time, the Aussie relay’s time was a world textile best, the closest in legal suits to the 3:47.97 at which a USA quartet held the last shiny suit global standard.
Old And New Compared –  3:48.88 – 3:47.91:
  • 2010                     2019
  • Rachel Goh 57.39 – Minna Atherton 55.45
  • Leisel Jones 1:03.76 – Jess Hansen 1:04.73
  • Felicity Galves 55.56 – Emma McKeon 55.67
  • Marieke Guehrer 52.17 – Cate Campbell 52.06

Men’s 400 Freestyle

ISL: Elijah Winnington

Aussie Elijah Winnington glides through the water on the way to victory in the 400 freestyle for the London Roar.

In command from the start, Aussie Elijah Winnington delivered another victory for the London Roar as he cruised away from the opposition and stopped the clock in 3:38.84. Iron’s Kristof Milak demonstrated his range by placing second, with the N.Y. Breakers’ Jack McLoughlin finishing third.

Women’s 400 Freestyle

The London Roar is even picking up points in events that don’t seem to be a strength. While Holly Hibbott won the event in 4:02.28, teammate Boglarka Kapas finished third to enable the Roar to garner 15 points and further pad their lead in the team standings. Ajna Kesely broke up the Roar with a second-place finish.

Men’s 100 Breaststroke

Brazilian Felipe Lima handed the L.A. Current their first win of the afternoon when he fended off Michael Andrew of the N.Y. Breakers. Lima posted a time of 57.17 to maintain the advantage he built during the first half of the race. The London Roar’s Kirill Prigoda placed third in an event that will get stronger with the presence of Adam Peaty in the coming weeks.

Women’s 100 Breaststroke

It took until the second day of action just outside of Dallas, but the N.Y. Breakers earned their initial win of the ISL season when Breeja Larson claimed victory in the 100 breaststroke in 1:03.80, leaving Team Iron’s Alia Atkinson in second and Annie Lazor of the L.A. Current in third place.

Men’s 100 Freestyle

ISL: Kyle Chalmers

Kyle Chalmers provided an early spark for the London Roar with a win in the 100 freestyle.

The London Roar made it a sweep of the 100 freestyle events as Aussie Kyle Chalmers, the reigning Olympic champion, reeled in the field and took top honors over a strong group of foes in 46.22. Chalmers caught Team Iron’s Vladimir Morozov, the early leader, who touched in second ahead of the L.A. Current’s Nathan Adrian.

“That was close,” Chalmers said of his win. “It was about getting my hand on the wall first, about swimming smart.”

Women’s 100 Freestyle

There was no surprise in the first even of the second day as freestyle sensation Cate Campbell notched the 11th win in 20 events for the London Roar, her time of 51.37 securing a comfortable decision. The 2012 Olympic champion in the event, Ranomi Kromowidjojo was second for Team Iron, with the Roar’s Bronte Campbell and the N.Y. Breakers Madison Wilson sharing third.