The Week That Was: Caeleb Dressel Signs With ISL Team; Rikako Ikee Makes Public Appearance

Caeleb Dressel signed on to the Cali Condors of the new International Swimming League. Photo Courtesy: Becca Wyant

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The swimming off-season is still ongoing as there has not been a lot of action from the pool in the last seven days. However, there was a world junior record from Shoma Sato of Japan, who finally broke the 200 breast record after being so close all summer. Also in Japan, superstar Rikako Ikee made her first public appearance at the College Championships in Tokyo after being diagnosed with leukemia in February.

In International Swimming League (ISL) news, Gregg Troy was named as the head coach of the Cali Condors alongside Australian Dean Boxall as those two lead a very strong team into the first season of the ISL. Caeleb Dressel was a late addition to the Condors team as he was also named an ambassador for the team that will start competing in October.

In NCAA news, Mike Westphal was terminated as associate head coach of the Indiana Hoosiers.

Read below the five biggest stories from the week that was.

The Week That Was #5: Gregg Troy, Dean Boxall to Coach Cali Condors


Dean Boxall will team up with Gregg Troy to coach the Cali Condors of the International Swimming League – Photo Courtesy: Ian Hanson

The Cali Condors introduced its coaches for the inaugural International Swim League (ISL) set to kick off this October with Gregg TroyDean Boxall and Jeff Julian on staff. Troy will be the head coach while Boxall and Julian will be the assistants.

Troy coaches the pro group at Gator Swim Club in Gainesville, Florida as three of his athletes – Caeleb DresselJan Switkowski and Mark Szaranek – are on the roster. Former Florida Gator Natalie Hinds is also on the roster although she trains with Jack Bauerle at Athens Bulldog Swim Club in Georgia.

Boxall coaches the team at St. Peters Western in Australia, notably Ariarne Titmus, who surprised Katie Ledecky to win the 400 free at the World Championships this past summer. Titmus will be on the Condors roster this fall as well as World Champion Kylie Masse of Canada and Lilly King of the United States.

The Week That Was #4: Shoma Sato Breaks World Junior Record


Shoma Sato at the 2019 FINA World Juniors. Photo Courtesy: FINA / Budapest 2019

Japan’s Shoma Sato broke the world junior record in the 200 breast on Sunday at the Japanese College Swimming Championships in Tokyo. Sato broke the record with a 2:09.21, splitting a 1:02.14 on the first 100 as he lowered the old junior record of 2:09.39 from China’s Qin Haiyang set in 2017.

Sato rattled the record earlier this year when he was a 2:09.42 at the Japan Open in 2019. He was a favorite to win the gold at the World Juniors a couple weeks ago but was out-touched at the finish by USA’s Josh Matheny, who won the gold at 2:09.40 to Sato’s 2:09.56.

The Week That Was #3: Indiana University Fires Mike Westphal


Mike Westphal (right) will no longer be coaching at Indiana. Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

Indiana University fired associate head swimming coach Mike Westphal on Thursday after it was earlier reported he was arrested on charges of allegedly intimidating a former Indiana athlete who is now a local swim coach.

Indiana University released a statement on the incident:

“(Thursday), associate head swimming coach Mike Westphal’s employment was terminated effective immediately related to an incident that is detailed in the probable cause affidavit from the Bloomington Police Department.”

The Week That Was #2: Caeleb Dressel Signs With Cali Condors as ISL Ambassador


Caeleb Dressel at the World Championships. – Photo Courtesy: Becca Wyant

USA superstar Caeleb Dressel has become the latest big name to sign up for the upcoming International Swimming League competition.

Dressel, who won a record eight medals at July’s World Championships, joins Nathan Adrian, Cate Campbell, Katinka Hosszu, Katie Ledecky, Florent Manaudou, Ryan Murphy, Adam Peaty, Federica Pellegrini and Sarah Sjostrom as an ISL ambassador ahead of next month’s inaugural event.

“I’m excited to be part of the ISL family,” said the 23-year-old, who will swim for the Cali Condors. “I can’t wait for this new event to start in October in Indianapolis!”

The Week That Was #1: Rikako Ikee Makes First Public Appearance After Leukemia Diagnosis


Rikako Ikee at the 2017 World Juniors. Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

2018 Pan Pacs gold medalist and Japanese superstar Rikako Ikee made her first public appearance on Friday since being diagnosed with leukemia earlier this year. Ikee was in attendance at the College Swimming Championships in Tokyo, cheering for her Nihon University teammates.

Ikee, 19, was wearing a face mask and sitting with other teammates watching the meet. According to Kyodo News, Ikee was feeling well enough to attend the meet and her management agency said she had a strong desire to see her teammates compete.

Ikee was diagnosed with leukemia in February, a devastating blow to the 19-year-old’s chances at World Championships gold in 2019 and also hindered her preparations for a home Olympics in 2020.