Sarah Sjostrom dominates at International Swimming League finale
American star Caeleb Dressel wins men's 50-metre freestyle skins
Sarah Sjostrom earned season MVP honours and her Energy Standard team won the grand finale of the International Swimming League on Saturday.
"I got beat by a girl today and I'm all right with that," a smiling Dressel said. "I don't see that as any honour lost. I get beat by girls all the time in practice. We're all in the same sport together."
Sjostrom totalled 243.5 points to 240 for Dressel, who swam for Cali Condors. Aussie Emma McKeon of London Roar was third at 192.
"This is one of the best parts of the ISL," Sjostrom said. "I finally got the chance to race against men."
Sjostrom and her Europe-based team comprised of 14 men and 14 women split $100,000. They celebrated by chanting "Energy! Energy!" before jumping into the 25-meter temporary pool inside the Mandalay Bay Events Center on the Strip and later hoisting the heavy trophy.
WATCH | Sjostrom swims to MVP honours:
Energy Standard rallied to win after London Roar led for most of the final day. Energy Standard totalled 453.5 points to 444 for London Roar.
Energy Standard won the mixed 4x100 freestyle relay, anchored by Canadian Penny Oleksiak, who outlasted Aussie Emma McKeon of London Roar on the final lap to pick up crucial points after being down 37 earlier in the session.
"On paper we were not the strongest team. We won when it mattered," Energy Standard general manager James Gibson said. "We're got swimmers on the team that probably aren't household names and they were out there scrapping."
WATCH | Toronto's Penny Oleksiak anchors Energy Standard to win in ISL finale:
Cali Condors took third in the team standings at 415.5, followed by LA Current at 318 in front of a larger crowd in the 3,800-capacity arena than for Friday's session.
For the women, that was Sjostrom and Aussie Cate Campbell of London Roar.
Sjostrom led all the way and finished first in 24.32 seconds. Campbell touched in 25.63. Sjostrom's victory was worth triple points, leaving them trailing London Roar by 15 1/2 points going into the men's skins.
"I was racing some of my biggest competitors in almost every race I had," Sjostom said. "I'm not used to that top racing so often. I felt like i was swimming the world championships four times this season."
The men's 50 free pitted Dressel against Frenchman Florent Manaudou of Energy Standard. Dressel won easily in 21.46 to 23.83 for Manaudou. A day earlier, Dressel had erased Manaudou's short-course world record in the same event.
WATCH | Dressel wins the men's 50-metre free:
"Maybe in the future they will do four rounds in the skins and I can race against Flo," Sjostrom said.