Cali Condors Not Just a Squad Of Top-End Firepower; Depth Has Also Proven Key For Defending Champs

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Cali Condors Not Just a Squad Of Top-End Firepower; Depth Has Also Proven Key For Defending Champs

Much is made of the top-end power possessed by the Cali Condors, who are seeking their second consecutive team title in the International Swimming League (ISL). With superstars such as Caeleb Dressel and Lilly King headlining the roster, it can be easy to scan over the contributions that are supplied by other members of the squad.

During Day One of the Condors’ latest meet, the men’s 50 freestyle served as proof of the team’s depth and ability to juggle the lineup. When the entries for Cali’s meet with the London Roar, Tokyo Frog Kings and Aqua Centurions were released, a notable change was Dressel’s entry in the 200-meter individual medley, and his absence from the 50 freestyle.

At first glance, it may have seemed unusual for Dressel to be pulled from an event in which he is the world-record holder in the short-course pool. Yet, the move gave Dressel the chance to assert his range in the 200 medley, without the Condors suffering from the move. Why? Well, coach Jeff Julian turned to American Justin Ress and Dutchman Jesse Puts for the 50 freestyle, and the result was a one-three finish worth 15 points.

Meanwhile, Dressel finished second in the 200 medley, touching the wall just .02 behind Japan’s Daiya Seto. The effort by Dressel, who finished ahead of London’s Duncan Scott and the Aqua Centurions’ Chase Kalisz, was worth seven points, scoring that would not have been attainable without the lineup shift. As important, it would not have been manageable without depth that cannot be overlooked.

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