The Week That Was: Daiya Seto Becomes First Asian Man to Sign With ISL Team

Photo Courtesy: Becca Wyant

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The month of September has come to an end and the first set of ISL meets and World Cup competitions are just days away. Japan’s Daiya Seto is the latest big addition to the new league, as he is the first Asian male to sign with a team, as many of his Japanese teammates are instead swimming in the World Cup.

Recruiting season is also in full-swing in terms of the NCAA and NC State picked up the first big recruit of the class of 2021 in Grace Sheble from NOVA of Virginia.

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

The Week That Was #5: Grace Sheble Becomes First Big Commit of Class of 2021


Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

The NC State Wolfpack have landed their first verbal commitment for the 2021-22 season and it’s a big one: jack-of-all-trades Grace Sheble of North Chesterfield, Va.

Primarily an IMer, Sheble does her club swimming with Nova of Virginia Aquatics. She was named to the 2019-20 U.S. National Junior team for her strong performance at Phillips 66 Nationals this past summer where she placed 15th in the 200m IM and 16th in both the 200m fly and 400m IM. While representing Team USA at the 7th FINA World Junior Championships, she finished fifth in the 200m IM and seventh in the 400m IM.

The Week That Was #4: arena Signs Amy Bilquist, Justin Ress, Kendyl Stewart, Sophia Herzog


Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

arena signed four new athletes to its team in USA’s Amy BilquistJustin Ress and Kendyl Stewart. Paralympian Sophia Herzog of the United States was also added to the arena team.

The Week That Was #3: Shayna Jack Could Potentially Miss the 2020 Australian Olympic Trials

Shayna Jack

Shayna Jack makes a statement and answers questions from the media – Photo Courtesy: Ian Hanson

Australian sprinter Shayna Jack revealed the emotional toll that her failed drug test has had on her in the past couple months in an Instagram post. Jack originally failed a drug test right before the World Championships in July and withdrew herself from the Australian team.

Jack, 20, has uncertainty over her future in the sport, saying she has not received a letter from the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority outlining the case against her.

Jack is potentially facing a suspension of four years after testing positive for Ligandrol, which can stimulate muscle growth. If Jack is not able to get a hearing for nine months, then she would be out of the 2020 Australian Olympic Trials which are in nine months.

The Week That Was #2: Abrahm DeVine Calls Out Stanford Swimming and Diving Team for Unfair Treatment For His Sexuality


Photo Courtesy: Becca Wyant

Two-time NCAA Champion Abrahm DeVine publicly called out the Stanford swimming and diving team in an Instagram post for treating him unfairly as a gay man. DeVine publicly came out as gay in 2018 during his senior year at Stanford.

Now, he is saying he was treated poorly over the last four years by the Stanford swimming and diving team for being gay.

“Everyone says they support me, and yet, for the millionth time, I am the only one speaking up. To my coaches who sport the pride flag on their desk, to the athletes who liked my pride photo on Instagram, I need you to wake up to what’s happening around you. How can you say you support me and my equality? How can you not see how Stanford Swim has treated me and used me over the last 4 years?

“Am I invisible? Plain and simple: there are surface level reasons I was kicked off the Stanford swim team, but I can tell you with certainty it comes down to the fact that I’m gay. This is a pattern. Homophobia is systematic: intelligently and masterfully designed to keep me silent and to push me out.”

Stanford Swimming and Diving has since issued a statement to Swimming World.

The Week That Was #1: Daiya Seto Becomes First Asian Man to Sign With ISL Team


Photo Courtesy: Becca Wyant

Japanese World Champion Daiya Seto announced via Instagram that he was signing with the Energy Standard team of the International Swimming League. Seto is the first Asian man to sign with an ISL team as Hong Kong’s Siobhan Haughey was the only woman to be on a team.

The Energy Standard roster was one of the most stacked teams originally when the rosters were first announced but Danas Rapsys and Andrei Minakov elected to sit out the ISL to focus on other things. That was a big blow to the Energy Standard team but they were able to get a nice replacement in Seto.