Aiden Norman Commits to Florida, Adds to Growing Canadian Contingent in Gainesville

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The Canadian connection in Gainesville is growing stronger each year.

Aiden Norman, a backstroke specialist who recently became the fastest 16-year-old Canadian ever in the SCM 200 back, has committed to the University of Florida beginning in the fall of 2024. The decision follows in the footsteps of star freshman Josh Liendo, a 2021 Canadian Olympian, and 2023 recruit Lilly Daley, a top junior female sprinter from Canada who’s set to join the Gators next fall.

Norman threw down a huge personal best in the 200 back prelims at the FINA World Cup Series stop in Toronto last October. The University of Calgary Swim Club (UCSC) standout shaved nearly four seconds off his previous best from December of 2021 with a 1:53.66, winning the opening heat and overtaking Olympian Cole Pratt as the fastest 16-year-old Canadian in history. Norman turns 17 in March.

He dropped almost another second in the 200 back during a victory at the Ontario Junior International meet last month, lowering his lifetime best to 1:52.81. That ranks him as the second-fastest performer in the 15-17 national age group (NAG) behind Pratt’s 1:51.30 from 2019.

Norman picked up another victory in the 100 back at the Ontario Junior International meet with a time of 51.87, putting him third in the 15-17 NAG behind Javier Acevedo (51.63) and Pratt (51.57).

He earned runner-up finishes in the 50 back (24.53) and 200 free (1:46.60) while also leading the prelims of the 400 free (3:56.72) and 200 IM (1:59.63), although he didn’t swim in those latter two finals due to scheduling conflicts with other events. His 50 back time ranks second in the 15-17 NAG behind Acevedo’s 23.90 from 2015. In both the 100 free (49.10) and 200 free (1:46.60), he’s ranked as the sixth-fastest performer in the 15-17 NAG. Norman is also ranked seventh among 15-17 NAG performers in the 200 IM.

Best Times (SCM) 

  • 50 back – 24.53
  • 100 back – 51.87
  • 200 back – 1:52.81
  • 100 free – 49.10
  • 200 free – 1:46.60
  • 400 free – 3:56.72
  • 200 IM – 1:59.53

Best Times (LCM) 

  • 50 back – 26.84
  • 100 back – 56.48
  • 200 back – 2:01.73
  • 100 free – 52.90
  • 200 free – 1:54.44
  • 400 free – 4:11.30
  • 200 IM – 2:09.35

Converted SCY Times (From SCM) 

  • 50 back – 22.09
  • 100 back – 46.72
  • 200 back – 1:41.63
  • 100 free – 44.23
  • 200 free – 1:36.03
  • 500 free – 4:30.53
  • 200 IM – 1:47.68

Norman’s arrival on campus could coincide with Florida’s top backstroker, junior Adam Chaney, depending on if he elects to use his fifth year of collegiate eligibility with the Gators.

With two years still left to improve before college, Norman’s best converted SCY times would already have put him in the A-final of the 200 back and the B-final of the 100 back at last year’s SEC Championships.

Norman joins Luke Corey, Matthew Cairns, Michael Mullen, and Devin Dilger in Florida’s 2024 recruiting class.

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About Riley Overend

Riley is an associate editor interested in the stories taking place outside of the pool just as much as the drama between the lane lines. A 2019 graduate of Boston College, he arrived at SwimSwam in April of 2022 after three years as a sports reporter and sports editor at newspapers …

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