It was while watching the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games that Samantha Nealon decided she wanted to pursue swimming for Canada. She got that chance in 2011 when she joined the Junior National Team and competed at the Pan American Championships, helping Canada win gold in the team event. It was also in 2011 that she gained exposure to multi-sport competition at the Canada Games. In 2012, she was part of the team that finished fourth at the FINA World Junior Championships. She earned a couple more near-podium results at the 2013 Summer Universiade. In 2014 she was a reserve for the team that competed at the FINA World Cup in Quebec City and in 2015, she won the gold medal in the team event at the Toronto PanAm Games.