Cali Condors Star Melanie Margalis Will Leave Budapest, Skip ISL Playoffs


Melanie Margalis of the Cali Condors will be leaving the Budapest bubble and not participating in the playoffs for what is being termed ‘personal reasons,’ general manager Jason Lezak confirmed on Monday.

Margalis was absent from the start list for the opening day of the team’s regular season finale on Monday, but many teams rested their star swimmers with their spots in the semi-finals already ensured.

Margalis is at least the 4th swimmer to have left early from the bubble for personal reasons, joining Pieter Timmers, Sarah Vasey, and Jeanette Ottesen of the New York Breakers, who all departed for personal reasons as well.

Margalis, who was part of the top women’s squad in the league with the Condors, ranked 30th in league MVP scoring through the 4th week of competition. That ranking comes even without swimming in any of the high-points skins events. That ranked her 5th among all swimmers for the Condors, who are undefeated and sit atop the league table this season.

Margalis opened her season on fire in Match 1, where she was 6th overall in MVP scoring. That meet included breaking the American Record in the 200 IM. Since then, however, her performances have been slipping, which includes dropping the 400 free and 400 IM from her schedule entirely.

Match 1 Match 3 Match 8
200 IM 1st (19 points) 1st (12 points) 1st (10 points)
400 free 1st (15 points)
100 IM 3rd (6 points) 1st (12 points) 2nd (7 points)
400 IM 1st (12 points)
Total 52 points (6th) 24 points (14th) 17 points (40th)

The Condors have Hali Flickinger as backup in those events, so they won’t totally vacate high placements with Margalis’ absence, but after that they could struggle in her events. Distance freestyler, and open water specialist, Haley Anderson has been filling in, finishing 7th in the 400 free (4:04.56) and 8th in the 400 IM (4:39.21) in Match #8. Her points in the 400 IM were stolen, meaning that she scored 2 total points in 2 swims at that meet.

The Condors do have an IMer, Kelly Fertel, on the bench who they’ve called up to fill in for Margalis at meet 10. Fertel, a former Florida Gator, hasn’t raced yet this season, and with a top 2 seed essentially secured, Monday will be a chance for the Condors to learn what they’ve got in their reserves headed toward the playoffs.

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11 months ago

that’s a big blow

11 months ago

Wow… this really shakes things up. Hope she’s okay

11 months ago

Good thing they replaced isl with fishing this thing is going to hell in a handbasket

Last edited 11 months ago by Pvdh
11 months ago

Oh no. Bummer. Hope she is ok though.

11 months ago

The term ‘personal reasons’ is a little worrying. hope she’s ok.

11 months ago

I hope she is not positive (to covid) , and they keep it secret to avoid panic approaching the semi-finals.. looking at her ig and performances so far, she was pretty stocked to represent the condors

Wood Row
Reply to  swimfan_00
11 months ago

Relax. If she got the flu, sorry covid, she will be just fine. Like the vast majority of the public. People…..

Reply to  Wood Row
10 months ago

Over 1.3 million people have died

11 months ago

She probably misses that Georgia cooking

11 months ago

Hmmmm…. fishy.

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder/co-owner 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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