London Roar’s Sydney Pickrem leaves empty lane for second time in ISL 2021 season
INTERNATIONAL SWIMMING LEAGUE 2021 – SEASON 3, MATCH 9
- Thursday September 23 – Friday September 24
- 2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. EST (8:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m. local time)
- Felice Scandone swimming pool, Naples, Italy
- Format Meters Short Run (25m – SCM)
- ISL Season 3 times, start times and more
- Competing teams: Energy Standard, London Roar, Toronto Titans, DC Trident
- Omega Live Scores
- Match preview 9
- Game 9, Day 1: Live recap
For the second time this season, Sydney Pickrem of the London Roar left an empty lane at an event at an International Swimming League meet.
Previously, in Game 3, she had left an empty lane in the 200 IM. On Friday, his absence was in the 400 IM.
While this is common practice in traditional competitions (it also did not feature the 400 IM and 200 breaststroke preliminaries at the Olympics, for example), in the ISL team scoring format, this are the points that count, these empty lanes cost the teams dearly. In this case, Pickrems’ absence earned him -4 points and gave him 1 Jackpotted point to Bailey Andison of the DC Trident. In total, that leaves DC with 33 points and London with 7 points.
Pickrem hasn’t swam a 400 IM this season, so there isn’t a lot of data to expect a time from him. Last season, his times ranged from 4: 23.6 in the semifinals to 4: 37.3 in his first game of the season.
Bailey Andison’s winning time is 4: 27.23, which Pickrem is certainly capable of. 2nd place was Katie Shanahan of London Roar in 4: 32.74, and 3rd place was Zsu Jakabos of DC Trident in 4: 34.91.
There’s also the checkpoint issue in the 400-meter race, although Pickrem’s strength is usually breaststroke so she’s not a big contender for big points there.
Depending on Pickrem’s form (and she generally swam well in the competition), however, she could have gained an extra 6 or 7 points, resulting in a net swing of around 10 points for her team by her absence.
In either case so far, it hasn’t impacted the team’s final standings. In Game 3 they had over 200 points to catch up to Energy Standard, and this weekend they were 110.5 points behind the same team for the win.
But as we enter the playoffs in Eindhoven in November and the finals in January, that kind of one-off damage could cost his team a placement. It won’t suit the league either, as the empty lane harms the optics on TV.
Coaches have the flexibility to make roster changes prior to each competition session (essentially, every commercial break).
In his other races, Pickrem won the 200 IM (2: 04.59), won the 100 IM (58.40), was 3rd in the 200 freestyle (1: 56.25) and swam a split time of 55.50 on a free 400 relay. These are, in general, good times for her. The 200 IM is one second above its regular season record in Season 2 (2: 05.97).
A team spokesperson did not respond to multiple requests for comment as to why Pickrem did not show up at two races this season, but she could be seen in the team box loudly applauding her teammates after the failure of Friday.
Last week, London used Laura Lahtinen in the 400 IM. She swam in 4: 47.80 and missed the minimum time standard, although Shanahan winning that race (4: 31.83) meant that the Jackpot points, at least, remained with the team. The -1 point for missing the minimum time standard is always a 3 point improvement on a no-show. Lahtinen has been below the minimum time standard this season – she reached 4: 45.6.
Pickrem is co-captain of the London Roar with Kyle Chalmers.
Final classification of match 9:
- Energy standard – 568
- London Roar – 457.5
- Toronto Titans – 380.5
- Trident DC – 357
London’s 2nd place in Game 9, ahead of the Toronto Titans, means they will be the 4th seed to head to the playoffs. The regular season ends Sunday, with the last four teams of the regular season competing in a Play-In game next week, the first two advancing.