Greg Meehan pays incredible homage to Lia Neal (Video)

Reported by Lauren Neidigh.


Simone Manuel rocketed to the 2nd fastest performance of all time, putting up a 46.02 leadoff split as the Stanford Cardinal set a new NCAA and American Record to win the 400 free relay. Manuel teamed up with Katie Ledecky (47.52), Janet Hu (47.63), and Lia Neal.

In the final swim of her NCAA career, U.S. Olympian Lia Neal anchored with a blistering 46.37 to seal the deal for her team. Their historic combined time of 3:07.61 took nearly a full second off the former record of 3:08.51 set by the same team at last month’s Pac-12 Championships.

Splits Comparison By 100:

 Stanford (2017 NCAAs)  Simone Mauel- 46.02  Katie Ledecky– 47.52  Janet Hu– 47.63  Lia Neal– 46.37  3:07.61
Stanford (2017 Pac-12s) Simone Manuel– 46.47 Katie Ledecky– 48.10 Janet Hu– 47.49 Lia Neal– 46.45 3:08.51

With that, Stanford won the meet with a final score of 526.5. Their margin of victory was in the triple digits, as Cal finished 2nd with 366 points.



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5 years ago

“We have to do this for Lia”. Can we please get that on some form of US currency?

Tom from Chicago
5 years ago

Lots of talk about Manuel (rightly so), but Neal had a great meet too.

5 years ago

Wow. Ledecky’s fastest 100 Y Free split ever after breaking NCAA record in 1000 Free split of 1650 Free runaway victory earlier in session. Clearly revved up her sprint speed as tribute to Lia and Coach with her teammates.

Swim Mom Yo
5 years ago

What a privilege it was to be there to see it all. It was hard not to shed tears after the relay.

Reply to  Swim Mom Yo
5 years ago

That relay made me cry just watching the live webcast!

Gary P
5 years ago

Classy move by a classy coach.

There has certainly been an avalanche of talent landing at Stanford in the wake of Neal’s commitment to the program.

5 years ago

Who would not want to swim for that guy.

Joel Lin
Reply to  Bigly
5 years ago

That’s the question. Stanford might jet away now. Meehan is an established coach now & you just can’t beat the confluence of all attributes which make Stanford a dream location for any student athlete.

I’m on board. This is the start of the Cardinal Dynasty. The women’s program looks poised to hold the prestige their men had in the 1980s with those Pablo, Moffitt, etc ringers & depth. Stanford men’s program? Not so much.

Steve Nolan
Reply to  Joel Lin
5 years ago

Didn’t they already get like, half of the top 10 recruits in the HS class of ’17 to commit? I think it kinda already happened.

Joel Lin
Reply to  Steve Nolan
5 years ago

There was a time in the 1980s when Skip Kenney could have any recruit for the asking. It was a negative selection recruiting process, particularly for California kids. He could simply say “yup” or “not interested” and that would foreclose on the top tier of recruits. Of course there was also the academic barrier negative selection too, but for a time if Skip would have you, you’d go. (A different kettle of fish as to whether he did less with more, but…I’ll keep that argument outside of this one.)

Meehan is in this same spot now. I don’t believe there is a top recruit that would not seriously look for Stanford’s feedback with keen interest on a short list, and… Read more »

Reply to  Joel Lin
5 years ago

Honestly, I miss Skip”s Era for the men”s ream. Not sure about the current coaching staff, it seems many swimmers could have made more impact. I think it’s all about coaching to bring the talents out from their swimmers. Now the distance program is looking better. The sprint and stroke groups are in the decline for Stanford Men.

Reply to  Bigly
5 years ago

agreed — great combo of swimming and school. The only issue would be for someone who needs a full ride and doesn’t fit into his cap of 14. Stanford ain’t cheap. But it’s less of an issue for a women’s program, where 14 covers a lot more of the team than does 9.9.

Joel Lin
Reply to  SwimGeek
5 years ago

Yes & no…remember, Stanford is so ridiculously well endowed that it is now tuition free for any kid from a family under $125K/year income. So even if they didn’t have the 9.9, they have it made.

Not fair.

About Coleman Hodges

Coleman Hodges

Coleman started his journey in the water at age 1, and although he actually has no memory of that, something must have stuck. A Missouri native, he joined the Columbia Swim Club at age 9, where he is still remembered for his stylish dragon swim trunks. After giving up on …

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