The Week That Was: International Swimming League Has Finally Arrived

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The International Swimming League became a reality over the weekend. Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

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The International Swimming League has officially kicked off, bringing in a new era in the world of professional swimming. The dream has finally come to a reality as four teams (Energy Standard, Condors, Trident, Aqua Centurions) competed in the first ISL meet in Indianapolis. Sarah Sjostrom was named meet MVP as her team, the Energy Standard, won the meet.

In other news, the swimmers from the ISL teams that did not compete this weekend were instead at the FINA World Cup over in Budapest as they will start ISL competition in two weeks in Texas. Katinka HosszuMichael Andrew and Vladimir Morozov continued their assault of the World Cup wins with victories this weekend in Hungary.

FINA also announced the continuation of the Champions Swim Series as the meet will take place in two different cities in China in January next year. These were the only cities and dates announced so it is unclear if the series will take place elsewhere around the world. Various Olympic Trials meets will start up in March so it will be best to not have excessive travel in the lead-up to Olympic qualifying meets.

In NCAA news, the Utah women upset Arizona for the first time in school history.

Read more on the five biggest stories from the week that was.

The Week That Was #5: California Governor Defies NCAA, Signs Law Letting College Athletes Earn Money

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Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

California’s governor signed a law Monday that will let NCAA athletes make money from endorsements and even hire agents — a groundbreaking move that could change the course of amateur sports.

The law takes effect in 2023. Students universities in the state — both public and private — will be permitted to sign deals with advertisers and profit from their names and likenesses, just like the pros, The Associated Press reported.

Gov. Gavin Newsom said he wanted to bring fairness to athletes in “big-money” college sports, who create money for their schools.

“Other college students with a talent, whether it be literature, music, or technological innovation, can monetize their skill and hard work,” he told the AP. “Student athletes, however, are prohibited from being compensated while their respective colleges and universities make millions, often at great risk to athletes’ health, academics and professional careers.”

The Week That Was #4: Utah Women Upset Arizona For First Time Ever

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Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

Utah Women’s Swim and Dive earned its first win ever against Arizona with a 174-126 result on Friday.

“This is really huge for us,” head coach Joe Dykstra said. “Not many people thought this was possible. We have made incremental progress here at Utah. It is hard to build a program overnight, it takes time to build that up. Today showed our strong progress. We were a little shorthanded but our freshmen, Charity Pittard, Lizzy DeCecco, Leyre Casarin, Maddie Woznick and Kayla Miller, really stepped up.”

The Week That Was #3: 2020 FINA Champions Series to Take Place in China in January

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Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

The 2020 FINA Champions Swim Series will comprise two legs in January 2020. The first event will take place in Shenzen (CHN) on January 14-15, while Beijing (CHN) will stage the second meet of the Series on January 18-19. Olympic and World Championships medallists, World Cup stars, World Records holders and top-ranked athletes in the world ranking will be invited to the competition, successfully launched by FINA in 2019.

Following the very positive feedback from athletes and coaches, the program of the Series will include 28 individual events and two relays (mixed 4x100m free and 4x100m medley) over two days of exciting competition. Maintaining also the popular 2019 formula, only finals will be held, with four athletes per race. The competition will be staged in 50m-pool.

The Week That Was #2: FINA World Cup Continues in Budapest

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Vladimir Morozov won three events at the FINA World Cup in Budapest; Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

The 2019 FINA World Cup from Budapest continued on Saturday as Russia’s Vladimir Morozov claimed his second win of the weekend with a 47.99 in the 100 free. Morozov was quicker at the World Cup in Singapore three weeks after the World Championships where he swam a 47.88 to move to tenth in the world rankings for 2019. He has been on fire on this World Cup circuit as he has swam at all four stops thus far.

Hungary’s Katinka Hosszu, Australia’s Cate Campbell and USA’s Michael Andrew were all present at the meet in Hungary as they will have their ISL debuts in two weeks with their respective teams.

The Week That Was #1: International Swimming League Opens Inaugural Meet in Indianapolis

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The IU Natatorium set up for the first ISL meet; Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

The inaugural International Swimming League finished its first ever meet on Sunday October 6 in Indianapolis, Indiana as Energy Standard won the first meet, ahead of the Cali Condors, DC Trident and Aqua Centurions. These four teams will be flying to Naples, Italy tonight as they will compete in the second ISL match next weekend in Italy.

Sarah Sjostrom and Chad Le Clos (both Energy Standard) were named most valuable players of the first ISL match as the two Energy Standard team captains were a part of the driving force to get the ISL off the ground.

Katie Ledecky also nearly broke a world record in the 400 freestyle, as this was the first time she swam short course meters since the 2013 Duel in the Pool. Natalie Coughlin swam in her first meet since the 2016 Olympic Trials.

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