Cascade swimmers make an impact on Toronto Titans second match of the ISL 2020

Cascade Office

Budapest, Hungary (02 November 2020) - A great weekend of racing from across the Atlantic with the Cascade contingent representing the program quite well. Coach Dave Johnson commented on how, “great it has been with all the swimmers helping one another,” which is something they get to do at all their in-between practice sessions. Stephanie Coughlan, there as Titans team therapist, commented on how much she liked her new kit and how great everyone looks on deck - apparently Titans gear will be available online to purchase sometime in the very near future! A number of the Titans swimmers have been lending a hand to each other with all the small technical pieces that they are each strong at - working to give each other an advantage over their competitors from other teams. Typically these swimmers at this level only run across each other at major international games like the World Championships and the Olympics while representing their own national team programs - seldom, if ever, are the “state secrets” that could help in the pool so freely given out at events like that!

Cole Pratt swam the 200m backstroke and 200m individual medley on day one along with both the 4x100m free relay and backstroke on the 4x100m medley relay. On Sunday, which was day one, Cole put down his second fastest ever 200 backstroke swimming a 1:51.95 for 3rd overall in the race. His best time stands at 1:51.30 from a shaved and rested performance last December in Toronto at the OJI meet held there annually - a time, based off of his swim this weekend that he should be able to get to come a little rest towards the end of the month at semis; he will need to as Markus Thormeyer, swimming for the Tokyo Frog Kings, two days earlier took down Cole’s men’s Canadian record in the event swimming 1:50.30. 

Pratt 1:51.95 (Nov 20)    Pratt 1:51.30 (Dec 19)

26.12                             25.77

28.39 54.51                   28.35 54.12

28.88 1:24.08                28.68 1:22.80

28.56 1:51.95                28.50 1:51.30

Next up was the 200m individual medley. Cole took 7/10ths of a second off of his lifetime best time in that event hitting a 1:56.48 which moved him from 8th of 5th on the list of fastest Canadian men all-time. The Canadian record is still held by his Titan teammate, Finlay Knox, who out touched Cole in a 1:56.11. Knox (Foothills Mavericks) ended up 4th while Pratt was 5th. As a side note Cole outsplit the entire field in the race on the freestyle - his 26.99 split coming home was the fastest he has ever been and more than 2/10ths better than anyone else in the race. “Usually I turn after the backstroke and don’t even have enough air to do a proper pull-out on the breaststroke and even though my arms were pretty tight and tired right from the beginning of the race I felt really strong on the back half.”

Ten minutes later was the men’s 4x100m free relay and Cole swam the third leg hitting out a 48.89 swim to help the “B” team 7th overall. He had a bit of a break before the 4x100m Medley Relay which was the last event of the night where he managed a 51.99 swim leading that team out for another 7th overall placing. A lot of racing on day one with more to come at the next session. 

The swimmers are usually back home at night eating dinner around 9-9:30PM before turning in for the night and then up again in the following morning for a light swim on their own. Swimmers can choose the competition pool or hope they are up early enough to get into the three lane 15m pool hotel pool (so they don’t have to get on the bus and take a trip to the Arena) but it is luck of the draw and first come first serve downstairs.

On the second day Cole swam a new lifetime best in the 100m backstroke in 51.54 going 3/100ths better than his previous best and finishing 5th overall in an event his teammate, Shayne Ryan, won. Cole’s last race of his long weekend of competing was the 400m IM (no better way to finish a meet!) which he swam to 6th place in with a time of 4:11.90.

“We’ve got two days (Tuesday & Wednesday) that will be spent on recovery and some of the finer points of his races,” said coach Dave - all in preparation for their next match which runs this Thursday & Friday starting at 10AM (Budapest time) which is 02:00AM (Local Calgary time!).

Pratt pulled his weight this weekend where finished 3rd overall on the Titans in terms of scoring points for the men’s team with 18.0 which ranked him 32nd overall in the meet (tied) in the MVP title race. Cole swam the most events of any of the Titans with two relays and four individual events over the two sessions or, “1100m at 7000RPM,” as coach Dave put it! Cole’s 18 points were behind Shayne Ryan (29.0) and Blake Pieroni (23.0) on the guys side while the women’s team really punched above their weight in terms of team scoring led by their captain & winner of the women’s skins race Kylie Masse (57.5 points - 4th overall), Lisa Bratton (39.5) and Kelsey Wog (37.5). Cascade alumni also made some big contributions to the Team with Rebecca Smith scoring 18.5 points and Yuri Kisil adding 7.0 points. 

Toronto Titans Highlight Reel

The Titans were up against last season’s championship reigning team - Energy Standard so this match was going to be a good indicator of where they sit in and amongst the very best teams. Lisa Bratton the scm 2018 World Champion in this event (Tri City Channel Cats, Richland, Washington) and Kylie Masse went 1-2 in the 200m backstroke. Kelsey Wog (UMAN) won the 200m breaststroke in a lifetime best of 2:17.13. Kylie Masse won the 50m backstroke in 26.44 and Shayne Ryan won the men’s 50 back in 22.98. The women’s 4x100m medley relay team laid down the big hurt at the end of day 1 beating Energy Standard which then allowed them to pick the skins race for the ladies that would be run at the end of day 2. Masse, Wog, Louise Hansson (Helsingborgs SS, Sweden) and Michelle Coleman (Sweden) took down the favourites - picking backstroke for the next day’s skins race.

On day 2 Kylie Masse won the 100m backstroke in her fastest ever ISL swim of 56.14 which was once again followed up by another huge win from Shayne Ryan (50.45) upsetting Evgeny Rylov (Russia) Energy Standard in the men’s race. Rylov is the reigning and back-to-back World Champion in the men’s 200m backstroke long course and silver medalist from Worlds in 2019 in the 100m backstroke. Rebecca Smith (RDCS/CASC) finished 2nd in the 200m freestyle in 1:52.91. Tessa Cieplucha (Oakville Aquatics) won the women’s 400m IM for Toronto in 4:27.86.

A big bit of excitement for the Titans came in the form of the women’s skins event with the skins being the very last event on the schedule for the weekend. As we mentioned - the women had won the medley relay so they got to choose the race and they chose backstroke which meant two-time World Champion and Olympic bronze medallist got the tap on the shoulder to jump into the fray. Masse, who had already won the 50m and 100m backstroke events, stormed out of the gates on the first 50 winning handily in 26.19 - more than 2/10ths up on second. In the second round she won again in 26.82 - now by 4/10ths over second. And on the last round, of course, she won it in 27.17 which was more than 6/10ths ahead of second place. The Skins race is similar to our own Marquee 50 Free event we run at CSI but this is only three races and not seven and the fifty’s are three minutes a part and not two - you can think of it as kind of a “Marquee Light” version of what we do!

Final Team Standings

1. Energy Standard 609.0

2. Toronto Titans 448.0

3. New York Breakers 354.5

4. Aqua Centurions 290.5

Currently the Titans stand sixth overall in league standings with the top-8 teams advancing through until the semi-finals. Current standings are not entirely reflective of where things will end up as the Titans still have a match in hand with a number of teams having already done three matches (LAC, NYB, DCT, AC) with LA and NY currently ranked either ahead or tied with Toronto.

Interesting Anecdotes 

In training Blake Pieroni, Olympic gold medallist Rio 2016 - in the 4x100m Free Relay, took the breaststrokers to task taking them all down in the start to 15m race by crushing it off the blocks and having the strongest underwater pullout of the crew. Will we look to see him maybe in the men’s skins if comes to be breaststroke in the near future?

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