The Week That Was: ISL Continues While Madi Wilson Tests Positive and Hospitalized with COVID-19

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Photo Courtesy: Mine Kasapoglu/ISL

The Week That Was sponsored by Suitmate.

This week, the Cali Condors concluded their ISL regular season with a win over the Toronto Titans and Energy Standard remained undefeated with a hard-fought win over the London Roar, but there was a lot of news involving several ISL stars. Caeleb Dressel departed Naples and missed Cali’s last regular season match, Toronto Titans’ Summer McIntosh also left early, and Sarah Sjostrom made a surprise return. Most significantly, LA Current and Australian versatile star Madi Wilson tested positive for COVID-19 and was hospitalized in Italy, despite being fully vaccinated.

Read the five biggest stories of the week in The Week That Was sponsored by Suitmate.

The Week That Was #1: Madi Wilson Pulls Out of ISL Match After Being Hospitalized With COVID-19

Madi Wilson (photo: Mike Lewis)

Madi Wilson — Photo Courtesy: Mike Lewis/ISL

By Dan D’Addona

Two-time Olympian Madi Wilson pulled out of the International Swimming League (ISL) Match #8 after testing positive for COVID-19

Wilson, who said she was fully vaccinated prior to the Tokyo Olympics, made the announcement on social media. She has been hospitalized in Naples. She isn’t the first fully vaccinated person to test positive or land in a hospital, though the Center for Disease Control said that number is around 2 percent of those hospitalized with COVID-19.

I am extremely disappointed and upset not to be racing along side my teammates in match 8 here in the ISL. I recently tested positive for covid and yesterday was moved into hospital for further care and observation. Even though I am double vaccinated and took the right precaution set in place through the ISL, I have managed to fall to this virus. It’s been a crazy few months and I believe being run down physically and mentally may have made me more susceptible. I feel extremely unlucky but I do believe this is a huge wake up call, Covid is a serious thing and when it comes it hits very hard. I’d be stupid not to say I wasn’t scared. I’m so lucky for all my family, friends and support people. I can’t believe how much love I have been shown and I’m forever in debt to these people,” Wilson posted on Instagram. “Special thanks to my incredible LA family, you haven’t and wont ever see a team with a bigger heart then theirs, away from the pool the most incredible compassionate group of people and in the pool we are fighting with every bit of strength. I can promise we will be ready to fire come semifinals!

“I’m taking some time to rest and I’m sure I’ll be ready to bounce back in no time.”

#2: Cali Condors, Energy Standard Win ISL Matches

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Energy Standard’s Ilya Shymanovich — Photo Courtesy: Mine Kasapoglu/ISL

By Matthew De George, Dan D’Addona and David Rieder

Match #7: With a nine-point lead after the first day of ISL Match 7, the question Friday was if the Toronto Titans could stay in front of the Cali Condors and nab a second straight match win.

The answer, delivered emphatically by Kelsi Dahlia and Beata Nelson, was no. Even without Caeleb Dressel, even with Toronto setting a slew of best times, even with Cali having fallen to second in their last match, the reigning International Swimming League champions aren’t letting go of the crown lightly.

The Toronto Titans gave them a scare in ISL Match 7, going blow for blow in a match that was tied after 35 of 39 races. The Titans surged ahead by 20 points entering skins, but the sprint depth of the Condors proved to be too much. On the women’s side, Dahlia and Nelson provided the capstone performance in butterfly skins, a 41.5-point reversal to put the ‘Dors ahead for good. Nelson also set an American record in the 100 IM on the day and was named the match MVP with 60 points. Coleman Stewart followed with a runner-up finish in the men’s backstroke skins, lending some cushion to the final margin.

Match #8: Heading into the second day of the ISL regular season’s eighth match, Energy Standard held a narrow lead over the London Roar as two of the top teams in the ISL faced off. The meet has been tight throughout, and London took over the narrow lead after Alia Atkinson’s win in the women’s 100 breaststroke, only for Energy Standard to come right back with Ilya Shymanovich’s jackpot win in the men’s 100 breast. After previously winning the 200 breast and 50 breast, Shymanovich finished just three tenths off his own world record in the 100 breast, and he secured match MVP honors.

The Roar opened the day with Australian stars Emma McKeon and Kyle Chalmers each claiming wins in the 100 freestyle, and later on, Guilherme Guido won the 100 back and Duncan Scott claimed wins in the 100 IM and 200 free before placing second in the 400 IM. But Energy Standard was consistently good in every events, picking up victories from Shymanovich, Sarah Sjostrom (50 fly), Siobhan Haughey (200 free) and the mixed 400 medley relay, and Energy also earned plenty of second and third-place finishes.

Meanwhile, the Tokyo Frog Kings and LA Current were locked in a tight battle for third place entering the day, and they continued that early in Sunday’s program. LA was competing without the versatile Madi Wilson, who is missing the match after testing positive for COVID-19 (despite being vaccinated) and being hospitalized.

For Tokyo, Daiya Seto was the top overall swimmer of the day as he pulled away from the field to win the 200 fly and then dominated the 400 IM to move the Frog Kings into third place going into skins, but then Ingrid Wilm won the women’s backstroke skins for the LA Current after sweeping the three previous backstroke events over the course of the meet. And to conclude the meet, LA’s Tom Shields scored the win in men’s butterfly skins to clinch third place for the Current.

More ISL news:

The Week That Was #3: Nightmare Is Finally Over For Australia’s Shayna Jack After CAS Decision Frees Her To Return To The Pool

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Shayna Jack (left) with Bronte Campbell, Emma McKeon and Cate Campbell at the 2018 Commonwealth Games — Photo Courtesy: Delly Carr/Swimming Australia

By Ian Hanson

The nightmare is finally over for banned Australian swimmer Shayna Jack with the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) tonight giving the Commonwealth Games gold medallist the green light to return to the sport she loves.

“After a two- year and three-month battle, I have finally received my final decision that my appeal case has been dismissed by the Court of Arbitration,” Jack declared on her Instagram account.

“I am now free to do what I love with no restrictions and am so overwhelmed with joy – “I am now going to take some time to myself to cherish this moment and reflect on what I have endured. The nightmare is finally over.”

“Thanks to everyone who has stood by me, supported me and helped me overcome this challenge.

“I will speak more in the future, now is not the time…. But watch this space, it’s only the beginning.”

The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) dismissed the appeal lodged by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) and Sport Integrity Australia (SIA).

#4: Bethany Galat Announces Retirement from Swimming

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Bethany Galat — Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

By Matthew De George

Bethany Galat, who won silver medals in breaststroke at the World Championships, has announced her retirement from swimming at age 26.

Galat made the announcement on Instagram. The former Texas A&M standout made a run at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics but fell short in the breaststroke events.

From her post:

I don’t prefer long posts, but after nearly 20 years, how could I adequately express the impact swimming’s made in my life? God graciously guided me into realizing that I was content with what swimming’s given me, and am ready to move on to challenging myself elsewhere. I’m excited to say I’ll be starting an QA/R&D internship at Reed Food Technology next week!

Galat won silver medals in the women’s 200 breaststroke at both the 2017 World Championships in Budapest and the 2018 Short-Course Worlds in Hangzhou in 2018. She also won silver at the 2019 Pan Am Games.

Galat was an SEC champion in the 200 breast at Texas A&M, part of the Aggies ascent to the national scene. She was the first current Texas A&M swimmer to medal at a major international event when she did so in 2017.

The Week That Was #5: Gregg Troy Named ASCA Coach of the Year After Guiding Caeleb Dressel to Five Olympic Golds

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Caeleb Dressel (left) with coach Gregg Troy — Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

By John Lohn

A little less than two months after guiding Caeleb Dressel to an epic performance at the Olympic Games in Tokyo, Gregg Troy has been named the American Swimming Coaches Association (ASCA) George Haines Coach of the Year. The award was presented on Thursday during the ASCA World Clinic in Orlando.

The head coach at the University of Florida from 199-2018, Troy has turned his attention to guiding his professional athletes with the Gator Swim Club. Dressel, of course, is the headliner of the group and left his second Olympics with five gold medals – three individual and two relay. Troy was awarded Coach of the Year accolades in competition with Jack BauerleGreg MeehanAnthony Nesty, Meghan O’Leary and Solomon D’Amico. In Olympic years, ASCA Coach of the Year finalists are required to lead an athlete to gold at the Games.

Under the watch of Troy, Dressel won individual gold medals in the 50 freestyle, 100 freestyle and 100 butterfly, the fly title earned in world-record time. Dressel also powered the United States to victory in the 400 freestyle relay and 400 medley relay. Together, Dressel and Troy have achieved superb success, including multiple world championships and world records.

Asked what the honor meant to him, Troy gave credit to his star pupil. Said Troy: “It means I was fortunate enough to work with Caeleb Dressel and he did a fantastic job.”

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