T&T swimmer Dylan Carter ended his campaign in the International Swimming League (ISL) with a fourth-placed finish in the men’s 100 metres backstroke for LA Current at the Duna Arena, Hungary on Sunday.
Competing in a top-quality field from lane seven, Carter was third at the half-way stage in 23.76 seconds behind team-mate Ryan Murphy (23.61) and London Roar’s Guilherme Guido (23.67) while Energy Standard’s Kliment Kolesnikov (23.98) and California Condors’ Coleman Stewart (24.00) were fourth and fifth, respectively.
However, over the second half of the event, 24-year-old Carter faded by one position with a split of 26.15 for a 49.91 clocking and fourth spot.
The time by Carter marked the first time a T&T national had gone under the 50 seconds barrier and bettering his 50.11 he sat in Match Ten two weeks ago at the same venue.
Taking top spot with a sizzling second-half split of 24.84 was Kolesnikov who won in 48.82 while Murphy took silver in 49.29 and Stewart, bronze in 49.62.
Kolesnikov’s swim was the second-fastest swim in history behind the World Rrecord he set on Saturday (48.58), on the lead-off leg of Energy Standard’s 400m medley relay. The other finishers in the event were Standard’s Matt Grevers in 49.97, Guido (49.99), London’s Christian Diener (50.23) and Condors’ Radoslaw Kawecki in 50.30.
Reflecting on the six weeks of competition in the ISL said something he learnt was just the importance of being able to ride the ups and downs throughout the competition.
“It sounds short but it's really a long season with lots of swims along the way so being able to take the good swims and carry over the momentum from it and let the bad swims kind of just fall away," said Carter, who was also full of praise for his team’s general manager Lenny Krayzelburg saying its an honour to swim for his team.
“He (Lenny) is an icon in the sport and he is also a University of Southern California Trojan alumni like myself, so it’s an incredible honour for me to swim for his team and I know that every time I go out there to represent LA Current, I can try and make him and my team-mates proud.”
On Saturday, Carter, a Commonwealth Games medalist was part of the LA Current team to grab bronze in the 4x100m freestyle relay.
The quartet of Maxime Rooney (46.55), Kristian Gkolomeev (45/87), Carter (46.78) and Tom Shields (46.00) combined for three minutes, 05.20 seconds.
Dressel didn’t break another World record leading off the 400m freestyle relay but he did break his own American record in a 45.18, putting the Condors in a massive lead ahead of Standard’s Evgeny Rylov (46.09).
However, Kolesnikov, Le Clos, and Manaudou reeled in the team from California to finish in 3:02.78, scoring 18 points. Energy also placed 5th to take another 8 points and a total of 26.
LA Current brought in 18 points thanks to their third and sixth-place finishes.
Also on Saturday, the California-based Carter ended in the fifth spot in the star-studded men’s 50m freestyle in 21.21 seconds.
The race was all Condor’s Caeleb Dressel, who after producing a World Record in the 100m butterfly earlier in 47.78, blasted a 20.16 in the 50 freestyle, lowering this record for the second time in his career and besting former World Record holder Florent Manaudou once again.
Standard’s Manaudou, for his part, posted a 20.60 for second while LA’s Gkolomeev was third in 20.75, lowering his Greek Record once again followed by Justin Ress on Condors in 20.95.
And in his other swim on Saturday, Carter was relatively disappointing in this 50m backstroke after his strong showing in the backstroke skins in ISL match No 10 after he placed seventh in 23.95.
His club-mate Murphy took top spot, winning in a new American record time of 22.54 while his trash-talking rival Coleman Stewart nabbed second spot for Cali in 22.76 followed by Rylov and Guido who shared the third spot with similar times of 23.02.
In terms of cash reward, Carter earned US$800 on each on individual performances and relays, and US$1,000 via Team Bonuses for a total of US$2,600.
Overall, Carter and his LA Current team-mates finished in a familiar fourth spot, the same as last year with 298 points.
Led by captain Dressel, who won match MVP honours with 96 points, the Condors won the ISL Grand Final with 561.5 points, topping 2019 champion Energy Standard (464.5) by 97 while London Roar was third with 391. Dressel also finished as the Season MVP with 463.5 points.
Last season, Cali placed third in the final behind Energy Standard and the London Roar.
The Condors are also the first club in league history to finish a season undefeated. They topped Energy Standard in their only other head-to-head showdown back in Match 1, while last season’s champions fell to the London Roar at the 2019 European Derby.
Reflecting on his season, Carter, a Pan American Games medal winner said he thought he had a good season, a better one as compared to last year.
“I think it was just different in that when you represent a small country like T&T like swimming at the Worlds, as compared to when you go to the ISL and represent a team.
“There are a lot more consequences as you don’t want to let down your team-mates and I think the pressure got to me last year, whereas this year I used it more as fuel, than letting it sort of throw me off," said Carter.