T&T’s Dylan Carter swam the anchor-leg as LA Current I held off Caeleb Dressel’s Cali Condors for gold in the men’s 4×100 metres freestyle relay on Match Day One of Semifinal Two in the International Swimming League (ISL), on Sunday.
Competing in the four-team event at the 25m short course pool in Duna, Hungary, Carter and his team-mates lined-up in lane five and led by Maxime Rooney’s opening split of 46.26 seconds took charge of the event and never trailed there after.
Tom Shields (46.05) and Kristian Gkolomeev (45.76) swam the second and third legs respectively to keep LA Current I ahead of the chasing pack led by Condors and Toronto Titans.
In the end, Carter with his final-leg split of 46.71 did enough for LA Current to hold on for the win amd 20 points in three minutes and 04.78 seconds, just 0.20 ahead of second-place the Condors quartet of Kasper Majchrzak (46.74), Justin Ress (45.86), Marcin Cieslak (47.47) and Dressel (44.91) who combined for 3:04.98 and 14 points.
The Toronto team of Yuri Kisil (46.63), Blake Pieroni (46.02), Michael Chadwick (46.67) and Brent Hayden (46.48) combined for an all-important third-place finish to secure 12 points for their team with LA Current II taking fourth and ten points.
The relay splash was one of the most exciting races on the day as Cali almost clawed back for the win with an eye-watering 44.91 from Dressel (for context, the World Record is Amaury Leveaux’s 44.94).
Rooney looked in control in his lead-off leg, slamming a 46.26 to give LA a solid lead at 100m while Shields and Gkolomeev, both of whom already vital point-scorers for LA in this session, posted solid splits of their own in the second and third legs of the relay.
Gkolomeev’s 45.7 versus Marcin Cieslak‘s 47.4 was the key to defeating the Condors as Dressel closed in 44.91 and nearly caught LA’s anchor, Carter.
The final-leg swim from the University of Southern California-graduate Carter made up for his earlier eighth-placed finish in the men’s 50m freestyle in 21.56 seconds.
Dressel showed his class here with a time that’s just 0.04 seconds off his World Record from last year’s Grand Finale.
American Dressel touched in 20.28, more than half-a-second ahead of the rest of the field with Gkolomeev second in 20.80.
They were followed by Iron duo, Maxim Lobanovszkij (21.02) and Thom de Boer (21.04) who held on for fourth and fifth spots, respectively, vital finishes for them, especially considering that Toronto earns zero points in this race.
Toronto lost all of its potential points in this race as both Michael Chadwick (21.46) and Andriy Govorov (21.47) were victims of Dressel’s stunning jackpot swim.
At the end of yesterday’s 20 races, LA Current was second on the four-team table with 255 points, 27 behind Condors.
Iron (173) and Toronto Titans (171) were third and fourth respectively in the battle for the top two spots to advance to next week’s finals against Energy Standard and London Roar.
Standard topped the first four-team semifinal with 580 points, followed by Roar with 517.5 while Tokyo Frog Kings (380.5) and NY Breakers (239) were the others.
The remaining 19 events will take place today.