Lia and Simone: “To me this was the pinnacle of swimming” (Video)

Reported by Lauren Neidigh.


  • NCAA record: Stanford (2017)- 3:08.51
  • American record: Stanford (2017)- 3:08.51
  • U.S. Open record: Stanford (2017)- 3:08.51
  • Championship Record: Stanford (2015)- 3:08.54
  • 2016 NCAA Champion: USC- 3:09.69

Simone Manuel rocketed to a 46.02 leadoff to post the 2nd fastest 100 free ever as Stanford took down the American Record in 3:07.61. With a 4th place finish on the line after Texas took 9th in the 400 free relay, the Georgia Bulldogs knew they had to finish at least 2nd t0 beat the Longhorns. They did just that, as Chantal Van Landeghem (46.73) ran down Cal’s Farida Osman (46.88) to give the Bulldogs a runner-up finish.


  1. Stanford                        526.5   2. California                        366
  3. Texas A&M                       292.5   4. Georgia                         252.5
  5. Texas                             252   6. Louisville                      194.5
  7. NC State                          194   8. Indiana                           185
  9. Southern Cali                     176  10. Minnesota                         168
 11. Michigan                          159  12. Virginia                          149
 13. Missouri                          135  14. Kentucky                          106
 15. Wisconsin                          98  16. Arizona                          89.5
 17. UNC                                73  18. Auburn                             55
 19. Ohio St                            52  20. UCLA                               48
 21. Northwestern                       40  22. Tennessee                          35
 23. Purdue                             33  24. Umbc (W)                           30
 25. Miami (Oh)                         29  26. Iowa                               26
 27. Nevada                             25  28. Florida St                         24
 29. Arizona St                         22  30. Denver                             20
 31. Virginia Tech                      18  32. Florida Int'l                      16
 33. Nebraska                           15  34. Lsu                                14
 35. Cincinnati                         12  36. Boise St                           10
 36. Penn St                            10  38. South Carolina                      8
 39. Miami (Fl)                          5  39. Air Force (W)                       5
 41. Pittsburgh                          4  41. Florida Gulf                        4
 43. Alabama                           3.5  44. Notre Dame                          2
 44. San Diego State University          2  44. Massachusetts                       2
 47. Duke                                1  47. Drexel                              1
 47. Rutgers                             1


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5 years ago

It seemed to me that Simone was speaking to the fact that if she had been on the team last season, being DQ’d on the relay wouldn’t have cost them the title.

5 years ago

What type of annual endorsement $$$ could Lia get? I’m completely ignorant to the endorsement packages out there. She’s got a great personality, would be the type of person you’d want endorsing your product, but so far has only been a relay swimmer at the international level. Could endorsements fully support her after she graduates?

Reply to  Endorsements?
5 years ago

I’m wondering if she’d be on the level of Conor Dwyer, who has a lot of international success as mostly a relay swimmer. Not Michael Phelps but still endorseable. Articles put his annual endorsements around $300K-$400K.

Reply to  Endorsements?
5 years ago

For the downvotes, I don’t think anyone is trying to pry into Lia’s personal situation, but I kinda wonder what the ballpark range is for a top tier athlete like a two-time Olympian that isn’t quite at superstar status. I’d love to see Lia keep swimming but she is an intelligent woman who is about to have a Stanford degree and I wonder whether being a professional swimmer is more lucrative than the other options she has.

Reply to  Swammer
5 years ago

Lia has only been a relay swimmer but she is also the *second* black woman to qualify the US Olympic team. That’s a very big deal!!! Very important and she’s a huge inspiration to young people of all backgrounds. She is actually more “known” in the media than you think. More known than Dwyer for sure. She could get endorsements.

5 years ago

Pop-off — I wasn’t demeaning Lia, I think she’s awesome. I have no idea how the world of endorsements work, that’s why I asked the question. I remember two Olympics ago Lolo Jones being quite popular as a media darling like Lia, but finding it hard to crack the nut on sponsorships with McDonald’s, Revlon, etc. until she hired a marketing agent separate from her sports agent. So it would be interesting to hear from folks with real marketing chops on what the Olympic swimmet who is not quite a superstar could expect to earn. Is it enough to support her 100% through the next quad to 2020, or will she have to use her technical degree from Stanford to… Read more »

5 years ago

I’m sure Simone passed up a lot of pro opportunities for this championship as well. Hopefully the sponsors are ready and waiting to sign Lia once she graduates!

5 years ago

Great interview. Interesting to hear Simone say she “came back” to try and win a national championship. Is there any talk of her going pro now? Lia also mentioned this ending her career, but not sure if she was talking only about her collegiate career or if she now plans to retire. Has anyone heard anything on this? Great job by the Stanford team.

Reply to  Swimmer
5 years ago

I caught that too. Haven’t heard anything, but she would certainly be a great pro prospect both in swimming and endorsements whenever she chooses to make the leap. Great career for Lia Neal — kudos to her. What a way to go out! The emotion there was palpable. Got me a little choked up just watching!

Reply to  Swimmer
5 years ago

She said in the interview that she is swimming until the end of the summer this sure and afterwards is up in the air.

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Coleman Hodges

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