Two-Time Olympic Medalist Lia Neal Is a Late Addition to Cali Condors’ Roster

The Cali Condors of the International Swimming League (ISL) have filled the only remaining open spot on their women’s roster for the 2020 season with the signing of two-time U.S. Olympian Lia Neal.

The 25-year old New York native Neal won a silver medal as a prelims swimmer on the American 400 free relay at the 2016 Olympic Games and a bronze medal as a prelims and finals swimmer on the American 400 free relay at the 2012 Olympic Games.

Last season, Neal swam for her hometown New York Breakers in the inaugural season of ISL competition. With the Breakers, she served in relay duty only, with top splits of 53.12 on a flat start and 52.83 on a rolling start.

She’s likely to serve in a similar role for the Condors this season: a team that is stacked in the women’s sprint events. That women’s sprint freestyle group includes Olivia Smoliga, who ranked 5th in the ISL in MVP scoring last season, plus Kelsi Dahlia, Mallory Comerford, Natalie Hinds, Erika Brown, and Veronica Burchill.

Neal’s Best Times:

SCM SCY LCM
50 free 23.95 21.65 24.77
100 free 52.01 46.76 53.59
200 free 1:55.09 1:42.50 1:58.26

Last season, in the Las Vegas finale, the Condors used Natalie Hinds (5th – 52.01) and Mallory Comerford (6th – 52.26) in that event, saving Smoliga’s energy for other events, given their depth there.

In the 50 free, Smoliga was 5th (24.04) and Kasia Wasick, now with the Breakers, was 6th (24.07) for the Condors.

If Neal were able to get back to her top form, she could contend for a spot in the individual 50 or 100 free, but having a fresh hand to chew up 3 free relay spots is a valuable role in the ISL format.

The Condors have announced several roster updates since their initial roster rollout 2 weeks ago. That is largely to deal with the loss of 5 Australians as a result of Swimming Australia’s blockade on their swimmers competing in the ISL due to concerns over the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and especially tight restrictions at home.

With the addition of Neal, the Condors have 16 women and 15 men on their roster: 1 shy of the maximum allowed 16 and 16.

UPDATED CONDORS ROSTER (WITH AUSTRALIANS’ WITHDRAWS)

Women (16):

Men (15):

 

In This Story

0
Leave a Reply

Subscribe
Notify of
0 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder of SwimSwam.com. He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

Read More »