ISL Grand Final, Day 1, Session 3: Cali Condors, Energy Standard Running 1-2

Hali Flickinger (photo: Mike Lewis)
Hali Flickinger; Photo Courtesy: MIKE LEWIS / ISL

ISL Grand Final, Day 1, Session 3: Cali Condors, Energy Standard Running 1-2

With five individual wins – two each from Caeleb Dressel and Lilly King, plus one from Beata Nelson – the Cali Condors lead the ISL Grand Final through two sessions. But Energy Standard, which has taken both of the relays contested, are second in the fight to retain their title.

Both will be tested in the medley relays, with places in the standings likely to be decided by the skins races on Day 2 and teams positioning themselves to win the medley relay for control of the skins.

<< Session 1 recap | << Session 2 recap

How they got here

ISL Grand Final Team Scores (after Day 1)

  1. Cali Condors 267
  2. Energy Standard 239.5
  3. London Roar 199.5
  4. LA Current 177

ISL Grand Final MVP Standings (through Day 1)

  1. Caeleb Dressel, Cali 40.5
  2. Lilly King, Cali 38.5
  3. Sarah Sjostrom, Energy Standard 26
  4. Ryan Murphy, LA 25.5
  5. Evgeny Rylov, Energy Standard 22
  6. Ilya Shymanovich, Energy Standard 21.5
  7. Beryl Gastaldello, LA 16.5
  8. Olivia Smoliga, Cali 20
  9. Beata Nelson, Cali 18.5
  10. Sydney Pickrem, London 18

Women’s 50 Back

In the name of medley relay strength, the London Roar kept world-record holder Kira Toussaint out of the race, a gamble that hasn’t paid off on the front end, with the Roar taking seventh and eighth. That helped the win go to Olivia Smoliga in 25.83, a tenth off her best time but solid points for the Condors. Sherridon Dressel added a fifth-place finish.

Second was Energy Standard’s Mary-Sophie Harvey in 26.19, with Ali DeLoof and Beryl Gastaldello third and fourth for the Current.

Men’s 50 Back

Ryan Murphy dominated the field to get his first win of the ISL Grand Final, the broadcast-styled “jackpot master” netting 15 points with his time of 22.54. It’s also an American record, upending his time of 22.63 from 2018 Short-Course Worlds.

Coleman Stewart earned seven points for the Condors in second in 22.76, while Evgeny Rylov and Guillherme Guido tied for third in 23.02.

Women’s 400 Free

The Hali(ey) dynamic duo strikes for Cali. Hali Flickinger got the win in 3:58.77, pulling a bit of an upset of Energy Standard’s Siobhan Haughey. Haughey settled for second in 3:59.69. It’s a season-best by a second for Flickinger, while Haughey had been 3:58.58.

“I like to kind of control my own race,” Flickinger said on the broadcast. “I try not to go out super fast because I know I have the back end field, so I kind of stay with them and if I’m ahead, I know it’s going to be good. … I train to do this kind of stuff, and I’m really proud and happy to see that the way I train is really showing in the pool and it gives me a lot of confidence for later down the road as well.”

Third for the Condors was Haley Anderson, who went 4:00.19. Holly Hibbott was fourth for London.

Men’s 400 Free

In a great race, Tom Dean held off a late charge by Danas Rapsys to get London vital points. Dean finished in 3:36.56, edging Energy Standard’s Rapsys by .19 seconds. Third was Townley Haas, who build up to third for the Condors. Fernando Scheffer, who set the pace early, faded to fourth for the Current.

Women’s 4×100 Medley

It’s a world record (well, maybe). But the fastest time in history was compiled by four American women to lead the Cali Condors to the win and 18 points. The squad of Olivia Smoliga, Lilly King, Kelsi Dahlia and Erika Brown went 3:44.52, undercutting the time of 3:45.20 set in 2015 (Courtney Bartholomew, Katie Meili, Kelsi Worrell, Simone Manuel).

Splits: Smoliga 55.60, King 1:02.40, Dahlia 54.79, Schmitt 51.73

London Roar, with a rested Kira Toussaint, was second in 3:45.14 (Toussaint, Alia Atkinson, Marie Wattel, Freya Anderson). Energy Standard settled for third in 3:45.92.

The win gives the Condors control of the skins for the sixth time. Four times, they’ve picked breaststroke. Four times, they’ve won it with King. Three times, they’ve gone 1-2 with King and Molly Hannis. But Smoliga is a viable option against Energy Standard’s weaker backstroke contingent.

Men’s 4×100 Medley

The final race of Day 1 started with a world record from Energy Standard. It ended with Energy Standard first to the wall.

Kliment Kolesnikov led off in 48.58, undercutting the world record Xu Jiayu set in 2018 (48.88). That led Energy to a win in 3:18.28, more than a season ahead of the field. The squad was Kolesnikov, llya Shymanovich, Chad le Clos and Florent Manaudou, and it gains Energy the all-important control of the skins, all the better to avoid Caeleb Dressel with.

Second was the LA Current, which had been 5-for-5 in this race, in 3:19.65 (Ryan Murphy, Felipe Silva, Tom Shields, Maxime Rooney). The Condors were third (Coleman Stewart, Nic Fink, Caeleb Dressel, Justin Ress).

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