SwimSwam Swimmer of the Month is a recurring SwimSwam feature shedding light on a U.S.-based swimmer or water polo player who has proven themselves truly hardcore over the past month. As with any item of recognition, Swimmer of the Month is a subjective exercise meant to highlight one athlete whose work holds noteworthy context – perhaps a swimmer who was visibly outperforming other swimmers over the month, or one whose accomplishments slipped through the cracks among other high-profile swims. If your favorite athlete wasn’t selected, feel free to respectfully recognize them in our comment section.
Hailed as a bit of a surprising choice to be our near-unanimous pick to win the NCAA 100 fly title, USC’s Louise Hansson is backing up that status early in the season. Her month of October has been stellar, and a key reason why the Trojans are 4-0 and one of the NCAA’s hottest teams heading into winter invites.
Hansson’s two biggest showings came at the SMU Classic and the USA College Challenge, not coincidentally two of the fastest meets in this young NCAA season.
USC won the SMU Classic over highly-ranked programs Louisville and Michigan, and Hansson was a powerhouse in that effort. Swimming 6 times over the two-day meet, Hansson won the 100 fly (51.56), 200 back (1:52.26) and 200 IM (1:55.80) while taking second in the 100 back (52.79). All three of those wins were NCAA-leading times and her backstroke ranked 4th nationally at meet’s end. Hansson also had free relay splits of 22.74 (from a flat start) and 1:46.08.
About a week later, she bettered her 100 fly time with a 51.28 at the College Challenge, a time that still leads the national ranks. She traded her back and IM races for the 100 free (47.57) and 200 free (1:43.19), showing off her huge versatility and relay value. Speaking of relays, she also swam on two Pac-12 all-star relays, splitting 51.00 butterfly on a blazing 400 medley and leading off in 47.58 on a winning 400 free relay.
Her 200 back time still ranks #2 nationally, her 200 IM #3. That new 100 free time ranks 3rd and her 200 free 4th.
Hansson only swam one race last weekend, leading off a 400 medley relay in 54.00, but USC still crushed Washington State handily. They’ll take on Arizona State and Arizona this coming weekend before hitting the Texas Invite in late November, likely the team’s mid-season rest meet.