2021 200 backstroke NCAA ‘B’ finalist Susan LaGrand has announced via Instagram that she will be returning to Oakland University to use her COVID-19 fifth year of eligibility.
This past season, LaGrand led the Oakland Grizzlies to another Horizon League Conference title. LaGrand went 3 for 3 in individual event titles scoring a total of 60 points. There she won the 100 back (53.88), 200 back (1:53.93), and 200 IM (1:58.20). Notably, she was the only woman under the 2:00 mark in both the 200 backstroke and 200 IM.
LaGrand went onto 2022 NCAAs where she swam in prelims of the 200 back, 200 IM, and 100 back. She finished 26th in the 200 back (1:53.87), 43th in the 200 IM (1:57.84), and 46th in the 100 back (53.08).
LaGrand also qualified for NCAAs in 2021. There she was highlighted by a 15th place prelims swim in the 200 back (1:53.48) earning her a spot in finals. In finals, she swam a 1:54.13 to finish 16th scoring a point for Oakland.
LaGrand’s Collegiate Progression
|200 back||100 back||200 IM|
As seen in the chart above, LaGrand has made huge jumps in each of her seasons at Oakland. LaGrand told SwimSwam that she will be beginning a Masters of Public Administration this summer while also applying to medical school. She also said that her motivation for returning for a fifth year is that “I still have effort and ambitions to give the sport and am not yet ready to give it up. I’m very fortunate to be able to have the chance to take a 5th year at a place that I love.”
LaGrand holds the Horizon League records in the 200 IM, 100 back, and 200 back. She also is a part of the relay conference records in the 200 medley, 400 medley, and 800 freestyle.
Athletes were allowed an extra year of eligibility due to COVID-19 during the 2020-2021 season. Many athletes took this extra year this season, and although the number is expected to fall over the next few years, that does not seem to have happened as dramatically so far for next season.