French Runner-Up in the 200 Fly Lilou Ressencourt Commits to Cal Women

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It has been a big week on the recruiting trails for the Cal women, and they have picked up another verbal from French butterflier Lilou Ressencourt for the class of 2024.

“I am really excited to announce my verbal commitment to Cal where I will be continuing my academic and athletic career. I want to thank my French coach Fabrice, my family, and my friends who have supported me along the way. I also want to thank coaches Dave, David, and Josh for giving me this amazing opportunity. Go bears!”

Ressencourt was the runner-up in the 100 and 200 meter butterflies at the French National Championship in 2023, and won the 200 fly at the Monaco Leg of the 2023 Mare Nostrum series.

Earlier this summer, she took on her first significant international assignments for France, including competing at August’s opening edition of the European U23 Championships. There, she finished 7th in the 100 fly and 5th in the 200 fly.

The butterfly races are her primary events, though Cal coaches are optimistic about her future in the 200 free as well.

Best Times in Long Course Meters/Short Course Meters, Converted to Short Course Yards

SCY (Conversion)
50 free 26.51 25.89 23.16
100 free 57.87 55.49 50.69
200 free 2:01.26 1:58.62 1:46.68
100 fly 58.90 58.94 51.80
200 fly 2:09.65 2:09.02 1:54.27

Ressencourt has better long course times than short course times to this point of her career, which makes sense given that her coach Fabrice Pellerin, one of the legendary French coaches, is used to training swimmers with a singular focus on the Olympic Games.

Pellerin was responsible for the development of swimmers like Camille Muffat, Yannick Agnel, Clement Lefert, and Charlotte Bonnet during the heyday of French swimming when they all medaled at the London 2012 Olympic Games. He also coaches Swiss swimmer Jeremy Desplanches, who won a bronze medal in the 200 IM at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

Lilou, who comes from a small town in the southwest of the country, moved to Nice to train at Olympic Nice Natation with Pellerin when she was 14. She graduated high school in 2021 and is in a French university studying business manage.

This means that she is technically a transfer and will arrive at Cal with a French college diploma. While NCAA eligibility isn’t formally guaranteed ahead of time, she is expected to compete as a graduate student with two years of eligibility remaining.

She is scheduled to arrive in fall 2024 at the front edge of a wave of talent headed to Berkeley. After a couple of down years that included the termination of longtime head coach Teri McKeever amid abuse findings. The Cal women finished 11th at last year’s NCAA Championship meet, snapping a 25-year streak of top 10 performances. Prior to 2022, they had also been in the top 5 for 15 straight seasons.

But the program is now under the leadership of Dave Durden, longtime head coach of the men’s team, who has won 3 of the last 4 NCAA men’s team titles.

Ressencourt’s converted time in the 100 fly is already faster than the team’s leader last season, Mia Kragh, who finished 15th at NCAAs in 51.38. Ressencourt should also be an immediate NCAA Championship scorer in the 200 fly.

Other Cal commits this week include Alex Shackell and Claire Weinstein, the #1 and #3 recruits in the high school class of 2025, plus 2024 Maggie Petty, who is a 22.8/50.2 sprint freestyler.

Canadian Kathryn Hazle (4:07.44 in the 400 yard IM) is part of a small class of 2024 as well.

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Beginner Swimmer at 25
6 days ago

Damn she fine as hell 😍

Fukuoka Gold
6 days ago

Andrew is kicking rocks and punching wall

7 days ago

andrew shackell to cal

7 days ago

Speaking of French Bears, looks like Nans Mazellier isn’t on the men’s roster, and it has been updated with all the other freshmen. All the fifth years (Louser, Bell, etc.) are still on it though

7 days ago

Hazle and Chavez are on campus already as part of the 2023 class

7 days ago

Allez L’Ourses

7 days ago

Inevitable Durden would bring to the women’s team his proven strategy of recruiting 21 year old Europeans

Reply to  JeahBrah
7 days ago

Leave it to marsh to bring in internationals

Reply to  JeahBrah
7 days ago

He’s smart.

Reply to  ArtVanDeLegh10
7 days ago

Very smart for Coach Durden to bring Coach Marsh to Cal. Simply a matter of time until both the Cal Men and Women dominate the NCAA under the Dynamic Duo!

Reply to  JeahBrah
6 days ago

hey, you pay them these so what does it matters then, amateur athletics and some unwritten rules died 100 years ago….

7 days ago

Huge pick up

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder/co-owner of 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, …

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