Lia Neal: I’ve been working on my front-end speed (Video)

Produced by Coleman Hodges.

Reported by Stephen Parsons. 


  • NCAA Record – 1:34.15, Stanford, 2016 Pac-12s
  • American Record – 1:34.15, Stanford, 2016 Pac-12s
  • U.S. Open Record – 1:34.15, Stanford, 2016 Pac-12s
  • Championship Record – 1:34.24, Cal, 2012 NCAAs
  • Pool Record – 1:35.59, Stanford, 2016 NCAAs
  • Defending Champion – 1:35.15, Cal

Top 3:

  1. Stanford – 1:34.81
  2. California – 1:35.11
  3. Louisville – 1:35.36

The American record-holders coming into the NCAA Championships, Stanford played things a little safer at the national championships after DQing their 200 free relay. Luckily for the Cardinal, they were still good enough to win by three tenths even with three relatively slow relay exchanges (0.40, 0.27 and 0.31).

Stanford went 1:34.81, about seven tenths off their American record. Sarah Haase was the key difference-maker, splitting 26.38 for the best breaststroke leg of the A final with 100 breast champ Lilly King of Indiana relegated to the B heat. (King split 26.05 there).

Stanford was near the top of the pack in every other split: Ally Howe was 24.16 on backstroke, Janet Hu 22.79 on fly and Lia Neal 21.48 on freestyle.

California jumped out to an early lead on Rachel Bootsma‘s 23.36 backstroke leg, a time that appears to be the fastest known 50 backstroke split in history. They lost a lot of ground on breaststroke, but Noemie Thomas‘s 22.68 on fly and Farida Osman‘s field-best 21.12 anchor job pulled the Bears back into second with a 1:35.11.

Louisville took third on a 22.55 fly leg from Kelsi WorrellThat’s not as fast as her 21.9 from last year, which was the fastest fly split in history, but still bettered the field in that stroke. Louisville was 1:35.36, beating out ACC rivals Virginia, who went 1:35.80 on a 23.9 backstroke slit from Courtney Bartholomew.

Texas A&M was 1:36.37, getting a 22.7 on fly from Sarah GibsonBehind them were the teams from Arizona (1:36.44), Georgia (1:36.48) and Missouri (1:36.82).

USC rolled to a big B final win in 1:35.94, getting a 22.79 fly split from Kendyl Stewart to take the lead and never give it back.

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bobo gigi

I don’t know if I understand correctly “front-end speed”. I understand the speed she develops in the first part of her races. Opposite of back-end speed if I’m correct. She knows better than me what is better for her. But that’s what I hoped to see her improve since 2012. Her front-end speed. She has always been a good finisher in her sprint races but she lacked some speed in the first 50 of her 100s. She has improved that speed. We have seen it in the 50 free. She died in the last 50 of her 200 free but it’s not important. The work she does to improve that will pay off in the 100 free, her best event,… Read more »


For some reason this post stopped showing up on my front page for SwimSwam. Not sure what’s going on, but some posts seem to be falling into the abyss, and you have to actually search for them via Google.

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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