ISL Lewisville, Day One: Aussies Emma McKeon, Minna Atherton Provide Early Roar for London

ISL London Roar

ISL, Lewisville: Day One Live Results

During the past two weeks, as the International Swimming League made its debut with stops in Indianapolis and Naples, some of the world’s elite performers were limited to spectator status. As it opened its inaugural season, the ISL opted to contest back-to-back meets featuring Energy Standard, the Cali Condors, D.C. Trident and Aqua Centurions. Meanwhile, the other four teams in the league had to wait their turn.

Showtime arrived on Saturday.

For the third week of its season, the ISL returned to the United States for competition in Lewisville, Texas. At the LISD Westside Aquatic Center, action unfolded between the L.A. Current, N.Y. Breakers, London Roar and Team Iron. Obviously, four new teams taking to the starting blocks translated to a new contingent of athletes, who tried to match some of the highlights produced during the first two weekends, when Sarah Sjostrom and Caeleb Dressel delivered superb showings.

Although the London Roar was coping without several of their British stars, including breaststroke ace Adam Peaty, there was no mistaking the depth and power of its roster. The Roar piled up 253 points on Day One action, largely thanks to a pair of wins from Aussie Emma McKeon in the 100 butterfly and 200 freestyle and Minna Atherton in the 50 backstroke and 200 backstroke. The Roar also snared first-place finishes in two of the three relays. With Great Britain holding a training camp this week, the London Roar is missing Peaty, James Guy, Duncan Scott and Siobhan-Marie O’Connor, and the fact that they will debut next week in Budapest will only make this squad stronger. For the L.A. Current, Chase Kalisz, too, will not race until Budapest, and Leah Smith was sidelined with tightness in her neck.

ISL: Guilherme Guido

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The Roar dazzled for the majority of the afternoon, as several big names took turns in the spotlight. While McKeon and Atherton had a pair of solo wins each, Cate Campbell produced a sterling anchor leg in the 400 freestyle relay and added a triumph in the 50 freestyle. Meanwhile, the Roar benefited from its Australian presence in the form of Matt Wilson’s decision in the 200 breaststroke. Brazil’s Guilherme Guido came up with a big win over Ryan Murphy and Matt Grevers late in the session.

Despite sitting in second place in the team standings by 19 points, the L.A. Current is not out of contention, particularly with Sunday’s triple-point Skins still on the horizon. For Team Iron, Vladimir Morozov was the Day One headliner with individual wins in the 50 breaststroke and 50 freestyle.

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

MVP scoring after Day One:

Vladimir Morozov – 23 points

Emma McKeon – 22.5 points

Minna Atherton – 21.5 points

Ryan Murphy – 19.5 points

Team scoring after Day One:

London Roar – 253 points

L.A. Current – 234 points

Team Iron – 186 points

N.Y. Breakers – 131 points

Men’s 400 Freestyle Relay

ISL: David Marsh

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Michael Chadwick’s strong anchor leg gave the L.A. Current their first relay victory of the ISL season, with coach David Marsh’s squad recording a time of 3:08.00 to finish ahead of the London Roar. Chadwick finished the event for a squad that also included Nathan Adrian, Ryan Held and Matt Grevers. Team Iron checked in as the third-place finisher.

Men’s 200 Breaststroke

A world-record holder in the 200 breast for a few minutes at last summer’s World Championships, Matt Wilson shined in his prime event for the London Roar. Wilson covered his eight laps in 2:03.93 to hold off the L.A. Current’s Will Licon, with Sweden’s Erik Persson finishing third for Team Iron.

Women’s 200 Breaststroke

Annie Lazor turned in a consistent swim and snapped the winning streak of the London Roar at six as she prevailed for the L.A. Current in 2:20.05. Lazor earned the narrowest of triumphs as Emily Escobedo of the N.Y. Breakers was a hundredth behind, with Fanny Lecluyse placing third for Team Iron.

Men’s 50 Backstroke

The fact that several key team members of the London Roar are missing from their initial ISL meet, those absences are not providing harmful. Guilherme Guido was swiftest over two laps of backstroke to give the Roar their sixth consecutive event win, the Brazilian clocking in at 23.06. The L.A. Current received second- and third-place outings from Ryan Murphy and Matt Grevers, but Christian Diener added a fourth for the Roar.

Women’s 50 Backstroke

For the second time in an hour, Minna Atherton claimed victory in a backstroke event, this time over 50 meters to give another spark to the London Roar. Atherton, already the winner of the 200 backstroke, touched the wall in 25.99 and was complemented by teammate Holly Barratt in third place. Finishing second to keep the L.A. Current within striking distance in the team standings was Beryl Gastaldello.

Men’s 200 Freestyle

ISL: Alexander Graham

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The momentum has shifted into the favor of the London Roar during the third session of Day One, thanks to Alexander Graham and Elijah Winnington holding down the top steps on the podium. Graham checked in with a time of 1:41.58 and Winnington held off his Australian countryman Clyde Lewis of Team Iron for second place.

Women’s 200 Freestyle

The first woman to claim a double in Lewisville, Emma McKeon left no doubt about her dominance in the 200 freestyle, as she cruised from the start to the finish and won in 1:53.58 for the London Roar. McKeon earlier bested the field in the 100 butterfly. Madison Wilson had the best finish so far for the N.Y. Breakers, finishing second, with Iron’s Veronika Andrusenko placing third.

Team scoring at the second break:

London Roar – 153 points

L.A. Current – 147 points

Team Iron – 131 points

N.Y. Breakers – 81 points

Men’s 400 Medley Relay

Just a few minutes after finishing second in the 50 freestyle, Kyle Chalmers dug deep and handled the anchor leg to propel the London Roar to victory in 3:23.65. Chalmers was preceded by Guilherme Guido, Kirill Prigoda and Vini Lanza. While Chalmers’ finishing leg was key for the Roar, the L.A. Current picked up big points with second- and third-place finishes and actually knocked four points off the Roar’s edge in the team standings. Tom Shields and Michael Chadwick covered the last two legs for the Current’s top team, with Jack Conger and Dylan Carter back-halfing for the Current’s second team.

Women’s 50 Freestyle

For years, the Campbell sisters have been highly reliable for Australia in international waters. Now, the London Roar is benefiting from the siblings’ sprint prowess. Registering a mark of 23.33, Cate Campbell earned her first individual win of the ISL season while sister Bronte Campbell was third to give the Roar a 15-point surge. Splitting the sisters was Iron’s Ranomi Kromowidjojo.

Men’s 50 Freestyle

Make it two victories on Day One for Team Iron’s Vladimir Morozov, as the Russian followed an earlier win in the 50 breaststroke by beating a stellar field in the 50 free. Morozov, racing out of Lane Eight, was triumphant in 20.93, with Aussie Kyle Chalmers providing a second-place effort for the London Roar. Nathan Adrian checked in third for the L.A. Current.

Women’s 200 Backstroke

A silver medalist in the 100 backstroke at last summer’s World Championships, Aussie Minna Atherton was a wire-to-wire winner for the London Roar. Atherton stopped the clock in 2:00.58 to better the L.A. Current’s Kathleen Baker and Iron’s Katinka Hosszu, who had an earlier win in the 400 medley.

Men’s 200 Backstroke

ISL: Ryan Murphy

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Olympic champion Ryan Murphy executed a tactical race, staying with Christian Diener through the early laps before emerging in front and taking a big win for the L.A. Current, Diener relegated to second for the London Roar. Murphy was timed in 1:49.87. Murphy’s former collegiate teammate, Jacob Pebley, supplied a third-place finish for the N.Y. Breakers.

Team scoring at the first break:

London Roar – 87 points

L.A. Current – 82 points

Team Iron – 72 points

N.Y. Breakers – 50 points

Women’s 400 Freestyle Relay

If the first two meets of the ISL proved anything, it was the importance of relay events and the Skins competition. Well, the London Roar recognized that fact as it maximized points in the first relay event of this weekend with a 32-point showing. The Roar took first and second, Aussie Cate Campbell anchoring the winning team (3:27.90) in an impressive split of 50.85. Campbell was aided by Jeanette Ottesen, Emma McKeon and Marie Wattel. The New York Breakers took third place.

Men’s 400 Individual Medley

The L.A. Current’s Andrew Seliskar produced a strong freestyle leg to pull away from the field and prevail in 4:06.30 and snap a three-race winning streak for Team Iron. However, Iron came up with second- and third-place performances from Gergely Gyurta and Gunnar Bentz to keep their momentum going.

Women’s 400 Individual Medley

The Hungarian depth in the distance medley was on display as Katinka Hosszu and Zsuzsanna Jakobos occupied the first two positions for Team Iron, the victory coming to Hosszu in 4:26.32. Jakobos notched seven points for her second-place effort as she held off third-place finisher Ella Eastin of the L.A. Current.

Men’s 50 Breaststroke

Team Iron opted to go with a sprint specialist and Russian Vladimir Morozov got the job done in 26.15, giving his squad a sweep of the 50 breaststroke events. Morozov, who will later see action in the sprint freestyles, was followed to the wall by the L.A. Current’s Felipe Lima, with third place going to the London Roar’s Kirill Prigoda.

Women’s 50 Breaststroke

A third race and a third team with an athlete on the top of the podium as Jamaican Alia Atkinson came through for the Iron with a winning time of 29.31. The New York Breakers’ Breeja Larson was the runnerup, with the London Roar taking third and fourth behind the presence of Sarah Vasey and Jess Hansen.

Men’s 100 Butterfly

ISL: Tom Shields

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The short-course prowess of American Tom Shields came in handy for the L.A. Current, as the former Cal-Berkeley standout blazed his way to top honors with a performance of 49.50. Shields was supported for his team by Jack Conger, who placed third, with Iron’s Szebasztien Szabo finishing second.

Women’s 100 Butterfly

The London Roar got a superb start to their ISL season as Emma McKeon led a one-three finish, with the Aussie star grabbing victory in 55.91. Kendyl Stewart secured the second position for the L.A. Current. Marie Wattel also provided a spark for the Roar as she secured a third-place finish.