ISL Playoff Match 1, Day 2: Skins Surge Helps Cali Condors Overcome Energy Standard

RESS Justin CAC Cali Condors (CAC) ISL International Swimming League 2021 Match 6 day 1 Piscina Felice Scandone Napoli, Naples Photo Giorgio Scala / Deepbluemedia / Insidefoto
Cali Condors' Justin Ress; Photo Courtesy: Photo Giorgio Scala / Deepbluemedia / Insidefoto

ISL Playoff Match 1, Day 2: Skins Surge Helps Cali Condors Overcome Energy Standard

The International Swimming League’s regular season didn’t feature a matchup of its only two champions, Cali Condors and Energy Standard. It’s only fitting that the playoffs begin with a collision of the league’s presiding powers.

After day one of the first playoff match, even without the services of Caeleb Dressel, the Condors own a 17-point advantage over Energy Standard. That margin is tenuous given all that remains to be raced for on Day 2 Friday. The DC Trident also hold a 13-point edge in the race for third place over Team Iron, its fellow survivor from the ISL Match 11 play-in meet.

The Condors were in control until a big turnaround in the mixed medley relay surged Energy Standard in front. But Maaike de Waard’s win in the women’s skins and getting to the finals by Justin Ress made the difference for the Condors late on.

On the individual front, Ilya Shymanovich is the ISL Playoff Match 1 MVP with 62.5 points. Second is teammate Sarah Sjostrom, whose 59.5 points move her to first place in the team MVP standings with 288 points, 7.5 ahead of mate Siobhan Haughey.

Event by event recap is below:

ISL Playoff Match 1 Final Team scores

  1. Cali Condors 534.5
  2. Energy Standard 522
  3. D.C. Trident 359.5
  4. Team Iron 340



ISL Playoff Match 1 scores after Day 1

  1. Cali Condors 287
  2. Energy Standard 270
  3. DC Trident 179
  4. Team Iron 166

Women’s 100 freestyle

Energy Standard hits a 1-2 finish out of the gate with their dynamic sprint duo. Siobhan Haughey set the pace start to finish with a time of 51.46 to score 10 points. She was followed by Sarah Sjostrom in 51.52, the Swedish star rallying past Ranomi Kromowidjojo for third. Erika Brown and Natalie Hinds finished fourth and fifth, respectively, for Cali to limit the damage.

Men’s 100 freestyle

It’s two from two for Energy Standard, with Kliment Kolesnikov getting to the wall first in 46.11 seconds. There’s no jackpot points, but Kolesnikov’s win allows Energy to keep Cali in check, the Condors with a 12-10 edge in points for the event. Second was Justin Ress of Cali in 46.58 with teammate Kacper Majchrzak fourth. In between was D.C.’s Aleksandr Shchegolev.

Women’s 200 butterfly

Kelsi Dahlia went out fast and held her pace to get the Cali Condors on the board with a win. The American’s time was a 2:05.44, more than a second clear of Alys Thomas. The Condors get a boost from Thomas, of Team Iron, holding off Energy Standard’s Helena Rosendahl Bach for second. Katerine Savard adds five points for the Condors in fourth.

Men’s 200 butterfly

Every team is looking for a boost in the playoffs. Sometimes that’s a roster addition; sometimes it’s just good form. Eddie Wang could provide a bit of the latter for the Condors.

Wang picked up a win in his signature event, clocking in at a season-best 1:52.00 to get the win. It’s his first win of ISL Season 3 after two wins in the 200 fly last season. It’s also the 11th-fastest time in the league this season.

D.C. made the big move by taking second and third. Camden Murphy was tops among the Trident swimmers in 1:52.71, three tenths ahead of Zach Harting to restore some of the gap on team Iron. D.C. was up 13 entering the day and holds a 12-point edge after 24 events. Absent from the race was Chad le Clos of Energy Standard, due to what is reported as a knee injury. Rowdy Gaines indicated on the broadcast, however, that he could return for Energy’s next meet. le Clos is with the team and training in Eindhoven.

Women’s 100 backstroke

The Trident’s march to third place might just come on the back of some strong backstrokers. First up is Ali DeLoof, who held off the charge of Olivia Smoliga to win the women’s 100 in 56.81 seconds. With Team Iron in seventh and eighth, the Trident claim a 12-3 edge in this event.

The Condors consolidated their advantage thanks to Smoliga finishing second in 57.04, rallying from fourth at the 50-meter wall. Her teammate Maaike de Waard was sixth at the 50 but rose to third.

Men’s 100 backstroke

Big points and the biggest jackpot of the day goes to Mark Nikolaev, who pushed hard down the stretch to upend Coleman Stewart and win the race in 49.25. It’s his fastest time of the season by four tenths and nets 15 points for the Trident (though none of Iron’s points and three of its own saved). Stewart was second in 49.97 with Evgeny Rylov of Energy Standard third in 50.06.

Women’s 100 individual medley

There are close races, and then there are can’t-separate-them-with-a-sheet-of-paper close races like the women’s 100 IM. Not only did Beata Nelson get the win over Mary-Sophie Harvey by .01 seconds, but the duo was separated by that same minuscule margin at the 50-meter wall. Nelson went out in 26.44 and back in 31.81 to win in 58.25 and get her fifth win in this event this season. Harvey, the Canadian who has been outstanding this season, was out in 26.43 and back in 31.83. She looked to be ahead down the stretch until Nelson got her on the final kick inside the flags.

Energy ended up plus-1 in the race, despite Nelson’s 12-point jackpot, thanks to Anastasiya Shkurdai finishing third. She had been first at the midway point.

Men’s 100 individual medley

Without Dressel or Team Iron’s Marco Orsi, there was going to be a first-time winner in the 100 IM. Andrey Zhilkin took the honors, going 52.33 to nudge D.C. Trident’s Andreas Vazaios by .03 seconds and give Energy a big edge. Zhilkin earned 12 points on the jackpot, and Energy held a 15-4 edge on Cali. Third was Team Iron’s Leonardo Santos.

Women’s 100 breaststroke

For the 15th time in her ISL career, Lilly King is the champion of a 100 breaststroke race. Not many have had bigger jackpots.

On a day where times have largely underwhelmed, King pulled out a 1:03.62, within a tenth of her season best. It’s a 19-point jackpot and a 1-2 with Molly Hannis (1:04.67) as Cali nabbed 26 points with Energy Standard (missing Benedetta Pilato and Evgeniia Chikunova) getting shut out. Third was DC Trident’s Tatiana Belonogoff.

Men’s 100 breaststroke

Energy Standard gets it right back thanks to Ilya Shymanovich, who turns in a tremendous 55.77. That time is within .14 of the top time in ISL this season (also Shymanovich’s), just .36 off the ISL record (of Adam Peaty from 2020) and within a half-second of Shymanovich’s world record (55.34). On the points score, Shymanovich yielded a 19-point jackpot. With Felipe Lima third, Energy pulled back 25 points to just seven for Cali (Nic Fink in second at 56.76). It’s also a clean sweep of the breaststroke events for Shymanovich in the match, the third straight match he’s done that.

Women’s 50 butterfly

Sarah Sjostrom blasts off the wall at the 25 to take home the 50 fly in 24.64, just .05 off the ISL record from last season. She’s also mounting a charge on the world record (and Swedish record) held since 2009 by Therese Alshammar. Second was Ranomi Kromowidjojo, holder of said ISL record, in 25.06. With teammate Melanie Henique in fourth, Team Iron grabs a 13-point swing on D.C. Trident in the event. Energy Standard’s edge in the event over Cali was 15-10, with Kelsi Dahlia’s bid to go 3-for-3 finishing third.

Men’s 50 butterfly

If Nicholas Santos is angry about having to share his world record, he showed it in the 50 fly. Santos didn’t threaten the mark that he now holds jointly with Szebasztian Szabo at 21.75, but he did win decisively in 22.23 seconds to grab 15 points for Iron. The tally moves Iron within five points of D.C. Trident for third. The Trident limited losses with Camden Murphy finishing second din 22.50, ahead of Energy Standard’s Ben Proud.

Women’s 200 freestyle

It’s 5-for-5 for Siobhan Haughey in the 200 free, and this with a brush at history as the Energy Standard swimmers won in 1:51.17. That’s just .06 from her league record set last year, a harbinger of things to come for the Hong Kong swimmer. Her margin over the field was nearly four seconds, and it was hardly a weak field.

Team Iron’s Barbora Seemanova was the best of the rest in 1:55.03, surging in the final 50 to upset Energy Standard upstart Janja Segel. Energy picked up 18 points to nine for Cali Condors, where Erika Brown and Katerine Savard tied for fourth.

Men’s 200 freestyle

Things can change quickly in the ISL. As quickly as Seemanova dragged Team Iron to within one point of the D.C. Trident for third place, the Trident reopened the gap and then some. Aleksandr Shchegolev did the job with a time of 1:42.29, just .03 off his best time of the season which is the third fastest in the league. Second was teammate Velimir Stjepanovic, helping the Trident net 17 points to just two for Iron. That opens up the edge to 16 points over Iron.

Third in the race was Kregor Zirk of Energy Standard in 1:44.41. The Estonian is a second shy of his second national record in as many days after going 3:41.13 in Thursday’s 400 free.

Mixed medley relay

Speaking of big turnarounds: A 1-4 finish in the mixed medley relay means Energy Standard heads into the final four events with the lead. The win went to the foursome of Evgeny Rylov, Ilya Shymanovich, Anastasiya Shkurdai and Sarah Sjostrom in 3:32.62, less than seven tenths off Energy’s ISL record from earlier this season. Energy nabs jackpot points for the bottom three finishers and adds 10 points in fourth.

Among the squads jackpotted are the Condors ostensible B team, which includes Olivia Smoliga and Lilly King (female breaststrokers in mixed medley relays …) The A squad of Coleman Stewart, Nic Fink, Kelsi Dahlia and Natalie Hinds was second. Iron finished second to D.C. Trident’s sixth to claw back six points.

The points move Energy Standard 19 points clear of Cali in the ISL Playoff Match 1 standings.

Women’s 400 individual medley

Bailey Andison keeps on rolling. The holder of the fastest time in the league this season won her fifth 400 IM of the season by more than three seconds in 4:29.60. Between jackpots and checkpoint points, Andison tallied 14 points. Her teammate Klaudio Nazieblo netted eight, thanks to a fast first two legs, despite finishing seventh. Second was Energy Standard’s Viktoriya Gunes. Energy nabbed a 14-7 edge over the Condors.

Men’s 400 individual medley

A disqualification and a huge swim by Andreas Vazaios have helped solidify D.C. Trident’s third-place spot. Vazaois won in 4:05.06. Among his jackpot haul were early checkpoint points taken by teammate Zane Grothe before he faded to seventh. Vazaios also sweeps up points lost by Leonardo Santos, who finished fifth but was DQed.

Brodie Williams earned 11 points for Cali in second, ahead of Energy Standard’s Charlie Swanson.

As we head to skins, the team scores of ISL Playoff Match 1 are:

  1. Energy Standard 497
  2. Cali Condors 472
  3. D.C. Trident 330
  4. Team Iron 291

Women’s skins (backstroke)

Plan A for the Cali Condors went bust in the first round, with Beata Nelson, winner of the Match 2 backstroke skins, finishing fifth in the first round. But Maaike de Waard picked up the slack. Each team had a rep advance from the first round, with Mary-Sophie Harvey of Energy Standard leading the way in 26.24. D.C.’s Ali DeLoof and Team Iron’s Silvia Scalia also moved on. The top six were separated by .19 seconds, with Linnea Mack sixth.

De Waard got to the wall first in the second round in 26.83, DeLoof edging Harvey by .08. The final was all de Waard, pulling away down the stretch for a win in 27.87.

De Waard’s points moved Cali back to within striking distance, the Condors taking home 34.5 skins points to just 18 for Energy Standard to close the gap to 4.5 points.

Men’s skins (freestyle)

For the fourth time this season – and the third consecutive match – Thom de Boer of Team Iron was the freestyle skins champ to make it a double Dutch sweep. But that fact had little bearing on the team title in ISL Playoff Match 1.

De Boer was first at every level, starting with a 21.10, then 22.28, then 22.76. But more important from the first round was that Justin Ress of Cali tied him for first and the Energy Standard swimmers – Kliment Kolesnikov in 22.18 and Ben Proud in 21.41 – finished fifth and sixth, respectively. With a 10-7 edge from the first round, Ress needed to just not get jackpotted in the second round to ice the win.

Ress did one better, going 22.30 to finish second in the second round and put up a fight against de Boer in the final in 23.30. The 22 points were more than enough to see Cali past Energy Standard in the final standings.

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