Eight former Gators will be competing on Friday as the International Swimming League (ISL) begins its second season.
This season, Jan Switkowski will be swimming for the NY Breakers as the only Gator on the team. The remaining seven Gators, Khader Baqlah, Marcin Cieslak, Caeleb Dressel, Sherridon Dressel, Kelly Fertel, Natalie Hinds and Mark Szaranek, will compete for the Cali Condors. Former Gators make up nearly a quarter of the Condors’ 32-person roster.
With eight athletes on professional rosters, Florida has the second-most representatives in the ISL, tied with Auburn. Cal and USC each have nine alumni.
ISL is a professional swimming league that was established in 2019. Caeleb Dressel was named the League’s and Finals’ MVP for the league as a member of the Cali Condors in its first season.
The league will officially begin competition on Friday morning and continue through to the Finals, which are currently set to take place on Nov. 21-22. The five-week season will be held entirely in Budapest, Hungary, at the Duna Arena and will include 10 teams — from America, Europe and Asia — and 10 meets.
Florida’s slate of athletes made waves while swimming for the Gators. Baqlah, Caeleb Dressel, Switkowski and Szaranek all still hold records at Florida. All eight were also named All-Americans multiple times throughout their collegiate careers.
Now, fans will get to see them perform at the professional level. Friday’s meet will mark the first professional swimming appearance for Baqlah, Sherridon Dressel and Fertel. The CBS Sports Network is set to broadcast the meet, which is scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. and finish at noon.
Contact Sara Kate Dyson at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter @sarakatedyson.