US National Team swimmer Emma Nordin has announced her retirement from competitive swimming after racing at her last NCAA Championship meet in March.
Nordin graduated Summa Cum Laude (which at Arizona State means a GPA above 3.80) last spring with a degree in Bioscience and a focus in neurobiology, physiology, and behavior and is currently in graduate school at Arizona State.
Nordin is a member of the USA Swimming National Teams in both the 400 and 1500 meter freestyles. She finished 5th in the 400 free at the 2021 US Olympic Swimming Trials, and her season and lifetime bests of 4:04.60/16:01.37 from the Pro Swim Series meet in Indianapolis in May of 2021 earned her a spot on the National Team.
The path to spots on international rosters in her best events, the distance races, are crowded. Besides Katie Ledecky, who is the World Record holder in the 400, 800, and 1500 meter freestyles, Leah Smith and Paige Madden swim those races, as do a number of very young contenders like Katie Grimes and Bella Sims of the Sandpipers of Nevada.
Still, Nordin’s best time in the 400 free would have finished 2nd at the Olympic Trials last year and put her on the Olympic Team if she had matched it in the event final.
Nordin’s best season in college was her junior year in 2019-2020. She was the Pac-12 Champion in the 500 free that year and was seeded 1st in the 500 free headed into the NCAA Championship meet. That meet was eventually canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic, and Arizona State canceled their 2020-2021 season.
As a senior, in her last NCAA Championship meet, Nordin placed 14th in the 500 free and 16th in the 1650 free to add Honorable Mention All-America honors to her resume. Those were among three such individual honors in her career: she was also 9th in the mile at NCAAs as a sophomore in 2019.
Nordin is originally from Carmel High School in Indiana where she was part of a dominant program that won 36 consecutive state titles. She broke school records in both the 200 and 500 freestyles while there.
Nordin was a Google Cloud Academic All-America honoree in 2019 and in 2021 earned a Pac-12 Postgraduate Scholarship. The scholarship awards $9,000 to up to two student-athletes from each Pac-12 school annually.