USA Swimming to Officially Recognize American Records Set in ISL Meets

Melanie Margalis' American record in the 200 IM at the ISL will officially count. Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

USA Swimming has confirmed to Swimming World that they will recognize American records set in International Swimming League competitions as official records, unlike FINA, the sport’s governing body with world records.

Melanie Margalis and Katie Ledecky had strong starts to their 2019-20 seasons over the weekend, each taking part in the first ever International Swimming League meet for their respective clubs. While the two normally represent USA Swimming in international competition, Margalis was representing the Condors and Ledecky the Trident.

Ledecky nearly broke the world record in the 400 free on Sunday afternoon, swimming a 3:54.06 which was just off Ariarne Titmus’ world record of 3:53.92 from the 2018 World Championships. Had Ledecky gone under Titmus’ 3:53, then her time would not have counted by FINA as an official world record, despite it being the fastest time ever. FINA has stated they will not be recognizing world records set in ISL events, causing some discourse with the athletes competing in the league.

Many of the world’s best swimmers voiced their opinions on why FINA should recognize world records set in ISL events.

But Ledecky’s time will still count as an American record, since she was quicker than the 3:57.07 set by Katie Hoff in 2010. Representatives from USA Swimming confirmed to Swimming World that they will recognize American records set during ISL competitions.

Ledecky was not the only American record breaker on the weekend as Melanie Margalis finally became the fastest American with a 2:04.18 in the 200 IM. Margalis broke her own record of 2:04.62 from last year’s World Championships, but she was not the fastest American all-time. That distinction belonged to Julia Smit, who swam a 2:04.60 at the 2009 Duel in the Pool in Manchester.

USA Swimming put a ban on the polyurethane body suits in October 2009, but they were still allowed in FINA competitions until January 2010 so the Americans were permitted to use them at the Duel in the Pool in December ’09 without penalty.

Margalis’ time on Sunday will officially count as the true American record.

Women's Short Course Meters American Records as of January 18, 2024

50 FreeAbbey Weitzeil23.4418-Sep-21Naples, ITA
100 FreeAbbey Weitzeil51.2610-Nov-20Budapest, HUN
200 FreeMallory Comerford1:51.8111-Dec-18Hangzhou, China
Not-ratified*Allison Schmitt1:51.6719-Dec-09Manchester, GBR
400 FreeKatie Ledecky3:52.8828-Oct-22Toronto, CAN
800 FreeKatie Ledecky7:57.425-Nov-22Indianapolis, USA
1500 FreeKatie Ledecky15:08.2429-Oct-22Toronto, CAN
50 BackClaire Curzan25.5416-Dec-22Melbourne, AUS
100 BackOlivia Smoliga55.0422-Nov-20Budapest, HUN
200 BackMissy Franklin2:00.0322-Oct-11Berlin, GER
50 BreastLilly King28.7721-Nov-20Budapest, HUN
100 BreastLilly King1:02.5022-Nov-20Budapest, HUN
200 BreastLilly King2:15.5621-Nov-20Budapest, HUN
Not-ratified*Rebecca Soni2:14.5718-Dec-09Manchester, GBR
50 FlyClaire Curzan24.5519-Dec-21Abu Dhabi, UAE
100 FlyKelsi Dahlia54.593-Dec-21Eindhoven, NED
200 FlyKelsi Dahlia2:01.7312-Dec-18Hangzhou, CHN
100 IMBeata Nelson57.9017-Sep-21Naples, ITA
200 IMKate Douglass2:02.1213-Dec-22Melbourne, AUS
400 IMMelanie Margalis4:24.1520-Dec-19Las Vegas, USA
Not-ratified*Julia Smit4:21.0418-Dec-09Manchester, GBR
4x50 FRTorri Huske
Claire Curzan
Erika Brown
Kate Douglass
1:33.8915-Dec-22Melbourne, AUS
4x100 FRTorri Huske
Kate Douglass
Claire Curzan
Erika Brown
3:26.2913-Dec-22Melbourne, AUS
4x200 FRAlex Walsh
Hali Flickinger
Erin Gemmell
Leah Smith
7:34.7014-Dec-22Hangzhou, China
4x50 MROlivia Smoliga
Katie Meili
Kelsi Dahlia
Mallory Comerford
1:42.3812-Dec-18Hangzhou, China
4x100 MRClaire Curzan
Lilly King
Torri Huske
Kate Douglass
3:44.3518-Dec-22Melbourne, AUS
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Shannon Phifer
4 years ago

Paul Kaplan!!!!

Paul Kaplan
4 years ago
Reply to  Shannon Phifer

Shannon Phifer that was ALL US!!! It was our outrage! Too funny…I had to read 2x’s

Jenna Gaudio
4 years ago

Matt Haage

David Morrow Guthrie
4 years ago

Make FINA irrelevant.

JB Baker
4 years ago

That’s BS! ISL should respect our elite swimmers better

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