The Cali Condors have made another late change to their 2020 ISL roster, and have made the biggest pickup since team rosters were first formally announced 2 weeks ago.
While the loss of former American Record holder Mallory Comerford hurts, the Condors’ replacement, another American Record holder Allison Schmitt, will help smooth that over. The Condors continue to appear as one of the few teams that has even a chance of challenging the defending champion Energy Standard Club in the 2020 season.
Schmitt, who trains under Bob Bowman and who has spent much of her career as a training partner to Michael Phelps, did not participate in season 1 of the ISL. But the 30-year old has had an apparent change of heart late in the process and agreed to join the 5-week camp, and probable championship camp, this season.
Schmitt is the owner of 4 Olympic gold medals, including an individual 200 free at the 2012 Summer Olympics, as part of 8 total Olympic medals.
In long course, that 2012 Olympic gold medal in the 200 free is the 2nd-fastest swim in the history of the event, behind only Federica Pellegrini of Aqua Centurions.
She is also a former World Champion in the 200 free in short course meters – which is the course used by the ISL.
After a mid-career lull in performance, Schmitt has re-emerged as a part of the U.S. elite over the last 2 years. That includes a spot on both American silver medal winning free relays at the 2019 World Championships.
Schmitt’s Best Times in SCM/LCM:
|400 free||3:59.71||4:32.08 (500y)||4:01.77|
Schmitt’s Best Times in LCM Since 2016 Olympic Games:
Schmitt overall has similar event skills to Comerford, who she is replacing. At this point in their careers, the 23-year old Comerford has surpassed Schmitt on the international register, especially in long course. Last season, though, Comerford didn’t really race up to her full potential.
Individually, she finished mostly in the bottom-half of her events, though in the Las Vegas finale she did come closer to her best times.
The Condors are stacked in the sprint freestyle events, with names like Kelsi Dahlia, Natalie Hinds, Olivia Smoliga, Veronica Burchill, Erika Brown, another late addition Lia Neal, and maybe even Beata Nelson to use there. With Haley Anderson joining the team late, that puts them in good shape in the 400 free too. The addition of Schmitt gives the Condors some serious A-B free relay firepower, gives them more flexibility in resting their ‘skins’ swimmers in the mixed 400 free relay late in the meet, and gives the Condors coaching staff another option to choose the ‘hot hand.’
She also brings some more starpower to a Condors roster that already has a lot of it. In a bit of a strange ISL season, driven by complications from the coronavirus pandemic, that starpower might be as valuable to the long-term health of the club, and the league, as any specific times are.
|CALI CONDORS’ Final 2020 ISL Roster|
|1||Townley Haas||USA||Allison Schmitt||USA|
|2||Tate Jackson||USA||Kelsi Dahlia||USA|
|3||Kacper Majchrzak||POL||Molly Hannis||USA|
|4||Radoslaw Kawecki||POL||Hali Flickinger||USA|
|5||Mark Szaranek||GBR||Natalie Hinds||USA|
|6||Tomas Peribonio||ECU||Olivia Smoliga||USA|
|7||Justin Ress||USA||Melanie Margalis||USA|
|8||Khader Baqlah||JOR||Lilly King||USA|
|9||Coleman Stewart||USA||Veronica Burchill||USA|
|10||Caeleb Dressel||USA||Meghan Small||USA|
|11||Bowe Becker||USA||Erika Brown||USA|
|12||Kevin Cordes||USA||Beata Nelson||USA|
|13||Nic Fink||USA||Sherridon Dressel||USA|
|14||Marcin Cieslak||POL||Lia Neal||USA|
|15||Eddie Wang||TPE||Kelly Fertel||USA|
|16||Gunnar Bentz||USA||Haley Anderson||USA|