All-American Celina Li Held Out of Arizona Dual for “Violating Team Rules”

Update: While we cannot confirm the exact nature of the violation of team rules, we have talked to sources that we trust, who have described the transgression as ‘very, very minor,’ and shouldn’t affect Li’s ability to swim in any future meets.

As the Cal women snuck by Pac-12 rivals Arizona on Saturday, by a final score of 157-143, they were without one of their stars: sophomore Celina Li.

In Cal’s official post-meet press release, head coach Teri McKeever says that Li was held out of the meet for “violating team rules” without elaboration.

Li swam on Friday when the Golden Bears raced against Arizona State, where she placed 3rd in the 1000 free (10:16.11), won the 200 fly (2:01.26), and was 3rd in the 200 breast (2:20.83).

Li had a standout freshman season at Cal in 2013-2014, where she placed 3rd in the 200 IM, 8th in the 400 IM, and 31st in the 200 breast at the NCAA Championships. She also swam the breaststroke leg on the Cal 400 medley relay that placed 5th, though with Marina Garcia swimming better this year, Li may cede that relay spot to her Spanish teammate, at least in finals.

Cal will have another tough double next weekend, though it will be at home, as they welcome in USC and UCLA, and then will take two weeks off before their big head-to-head with arch-rivals Stanford.

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bobo gigi
6 years ago

Day of controversies and weird news in swimming world today.

Off topic but for Cal fans:

– video of their Hawaii training trip

– nice article about future Cal swimmer and world sprint star Abbey Weitzeil

6 years ago

i’ve known celina for a long time and it’d be very uncharacteristic of her to purposely cause trouble. she’s a great kid and i’d argue it was probably a minor violation. hoping this doesn’t turn into some big deal

Joel Lin
6 years ago

If she were a UVa swimmer this sort of non-news would be much more entertaining.

I am glad the article now begins with emphasis that this was a very very minor thing, and not worth more of a look…let’s keep moving onto something better than this please and all the best to Ms. Li.

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Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder of He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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