Mexicans Jose Angel Martinez and Hector Ruvalcaba Making Mark in ISL

Jose Angel Martinez (photo: Mike Lewis)

Jose Angel Martinez and Hector Ruvalcaba Emerge As First Mexicans In the ISL

The International Swimming League (ISL) has concluded its third regular season, and the campaign proved to be an opportunity for a pair of Mexican athletes. The Cali Condors and Los Angeles Current reinforced their rosters through the preseason draft by selecting Jose Angel Martinez Gomez and Hector Ruvalcaba Cruz. Here is a look at how they have fared.

Jose Martinez: Cali Condors

A Tokyo 2020 Olympian in the 200 individual medley, Jose Angel Martinez Gomez graduated from Texas A&M University in 2019. Two years later, he was drafted by the Cali Condors for the 2021 ISL season. Martinez has set three Mexican records so far. In Match Two, he broke the 50 butterfly record while clocking 22.89. During this match, Martinez also broke the 200 butterfly record (1:53.24).

In Match Four, he swam the 200 butterfly and lowered his Mexican record to 1:52.75. He also established a new record in the 100 freestyle after leading off a Cali 400 freestyle relay with a solid 48.15. The roll continued in Match Six, as Martinez again lowered his records. He improved the 50 butterfly to 22.88 and took the 200 butterfly down to 1:52.17. Martinez also contested the 100 butterfly and placed sixth in 50.57.

Currently, Martinez owns seven individual Mexican records, between short course and long course competition. These records correspond to the following events: 50, 100, and 200 butterfly, 100 backstroke, 100 freestyle and 200 individual medley.

Hector Ruvalcaba: L.A. Current

Hector Ruvalcaba Cruz graduated from The University of the Incarnate Word in 2020. A year later, the L.A. Current chose him in the ISL draft. His first appearance arrived in Match Two, where he went 1:56.74 in the 200 butterfly. In Match Eight, he anchored the men’s 4oo freestyle relay with a time of 49.30. He holds Mexican records for the 400 individual medley and the 200 butterfly.

What Does This Mean?

It is notable that Martinez and Ruvalcaba scored within the top six in each of their events. These efforts have not only benefited them personally but have also contributed to their respective team’s performances. With the Condors and Current slated to compete in the ISL playoffs in November, Martinez and Ruvalcaba are staring at additional opportunities in the near future.

The participation of these swimmers in the ISL demonstrates an existing opportunity for upcoming Mexican and other Latin American swimmers to pursue professional swimming careers. Therefore, Martinez and Cruz have recently shared their experience and knowledge throughout different swimming events in their home country. In fact, Martinez shared via his Instagram account the following: “I’ve taken pleasure to talk to younger swimmers. I hope you keep inviting me to more and inspire others with my story.”

Martinez and Cruz are the perfect examples of how the ISL allows professional swimmers to demonstrate their talent and, for countries growing the sport, to serve as inspirations to younger athletes.

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