ISL Rosters: Cali Condors Retain Dressel, Mine NCAA Talent For Season 2

International Swimming League 2020: Cali Condors

The Cali Condors had the top-scoring women’s group of any team in 2019, plus the top-scoring individual man in Caeleb DresselThey didn’t quite have the depth to overcome Energy Standard, but finished as the top American team despite finishing just second in the U.S. derby.

Additions

  • Beata Nelson (NCAA)
  • Erika Brown (NCAA)
  • Meghan Small (NCAA)
  • Kelly Fertel (NCAA)
  • Veronica Burchill (NCAA)
  • Sherridon Dressel (NCAA)
  • Meg Harris
  • Gunnar Bentz (IRO)
  • Kevin Cordes (DCT)
  • Coleman Stewart (NCAA)
  • Marcin Cieslak
  • Jack Cartwright
  • Eddie Wang

While the LA Current got a few of the top NCAA prospects, the Condors got a bigger share of the total NCAA-to-ISL class. Erika Brown and Beata Nelson should be amazing values. Brown is among the best sprint freestylers and butterflyers in NCAA history, and should provide gigantic value in skin races and relays. Nelson is an outstanding back/fly hybrid who should also be an elite IMer.

On the men’s side, Coleman Stewart is an outstanding backstroker for a team that struggled mightily in the backstrokes at the ISL Championship meet, taking 7th and 8th in both the 50 and 100.

Gunnar Bentz was the rare American swimmer who signed with a European team, but he’s back in the States after a year with Iron. DC Trident breaststroker Kevin Cordes is another solid pickup.

Meanwhile Australia’s Jack Cartwright is great value for the team on relays. Cartwright continues to grow the Cali Condors Australian pipeline. That also includes 18-year-old Meg Harris, an elite sprint prospect who could turn out to be an excellent long-term signing if the Condors can retain her for the foreseeable future.

Losses

  • Kyle Masse
  • Kasia Wasick
  • Kelsey Wog
  • Megan Kingsley
  • Signe Bro
  • Amanda Weir
  • John Shebat
  • Bowe Becker
  • Anton Ipsen
  • Andrew Wilson
  • Jan Switkowski

Kylie Masse is probably the biggest loss – the Canadian former world-record-holder jumped to Toronto to head the first ISL team from her home country. The men’s backstrokes also take somewhat of a hit with John Shebat off the roster, though he was only a low-end scorer last year.

Sprinters Kasia Wasick and Bowe Becker are both gone, for a slightly-diluted sprint group. Breaststroker Andrew Wilson seemed to have a lot of momentum, but didn’t score very well in the ISL last year.

Returners

Cali returns the bulk of their top threats from last year. That includes top-10 overall scorers Caeleb Dressel (2nd in just three meets), Olivia Smoliga (5th) and Lilly King (8th). King went undefeated in breaststroke across the tour last year. She and Smoliga probably only gain value given that the 50 back and 50 breast are likely joining the skin race rotation.

The Condors have a bunch of high-level names coming back, spread pretty evenly around strokes. Nic Fink was a surprising standout in a deep breaststroke field last season. Kelsi Dahlia covers the sprint butterfly extremely well, and Hali Flickinger and Melanie Margalis were an exceptional versatile duo last year. Mallory Comerford returns a lot of freestyle and relay ability.

Cali is going to be really loaded in the 50s of each stroke, which should make them a pretty safe bet to score big in the skin races no matter the stroke: freestyle (Dressel, Brown), backstroke (Justin RessStewart, Smoliga, Nelson), breaststroke (Fink, King) and butterfly (Dressel, Brown, Dahlia). But like last year, their women appear well ahead of their men overall.

Full Roster

Women:

Men:

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Justin Thompson
1 month ago

King Dressel dominated ISL last year and will do the same this year. May even beat Peaty in a 100 just for fun.

Last edited 1 month ago by Justin Thompson

About Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson swam for nearly twenty years. Then, Jared Anderson stopped swimming and started writing about swimming. He's not sick of swimming yet. Swimming might be sick of him, though. Jared was a YMCA and high school swimmer in northern Minnesota, and spent his college years swimming breaststroke and occasionally pretending …

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