The International Swimming League’s fifth meet is the “American Derby” featuring only the four U.S.-based teams, to determine the qualifying teams for the ISL Final in Las Vegas in December.
Two U.S. teams will advance to the final and the meet will be held at the University of Maryland’s Natatorium in College Park. And that’s important.
Why? Because it’s essentially a home meet for the great Katie Ledecky, a member of the D.C. Trident and born in Washington, D.C. … and she is in shape.
Ledecky won three events at last week’s (long-course) Tyr Pro Swim Series opener in Greensboro, North Carolina, swimming 1:55.68, 4:01.68 and 8:14.95 in the 200-400-800 m Frees.
Those marks are far off the Short-Course world records, which are faster thanks to double the number of turns, but Ledecky scared the 400 m Free record in the first ISL meet back on 5-6 October in Indianapolis, finishing in 3:54.06, the no. 2 performance ever. The current short-course marks:
● 200 m: 1:50.43, Sarah Sjostrom (SWE), 2017
● 400 m: 3:53.92, Ariarne Titmus (AUS), 2018
Sjostrom’s mark appears safe, but Titmus’s standard could be in jeopardy. All of this, of course, assumes that Ledecky will swim; she hasn’t appeared in any other ISL meets since Indianapolis. But how can she pass up a meet at home?
As far as the teams go, the current standing for the four U.S. teams show:
1. 6 points ~ Cali Condors (947.5 points scored)
2. 5 points ~ L.A. Current (865.0)
3. 4 points ~ D.C. Trident (652.5)
4. 2 points ~ New York Breakers (571.0)
As the scoring is 4-3-2-1 according to placings, the Breakers are out and the top three teams will battle for the two places in the final.
With the schedule so heavily tilted toward the sprint events, look for a big meet from American stars Caeleb Dressel for the Cali Condors and Nathan Adrian for the L.A. Current.
The meet will be shown in the U.S. on ESPN3 (online only), at 11 a.m. on both Saturday and Sunday.