US National Teamer Lillie Nordmann Defers the Start of Her Stanford Career

A second big name in the incoming recruiting class for the Stanford women’s swimming & diving program has decided to take a gap year before beginning her college career.

Lillie Nordmann, the 6th-ranked recruit in the class, told SwimSwam’s Coleman Hodges on the SwimSwam Podcast this week that she would not be starting her Stanford career this fall due to the uncertainty of the ongoing global coronavirus pandemic.

“There was a lot of uncertainty with this upcoming season, and it just made the most sense for me to take a gap year,” Nordmann said. “It was a really tough decision to make, but we talked it over with Greg (Meehan), my parents, and my club coaches and we just thought that was the best decision. Stanford is doing 2 classes at a time on campus, and the freshmen and sophomores are supposed to be on campus in the fall, but we still don’t even know the move-in date yet, so who knows what’s going to happen?”

She joins the class’ top-ranked recruit, World Record holder Regan Smith, in deciding to defer the start of her Stanford career until the fall of 2021.

Watch Nordmann’s full interview here:

Nordmann is primarily a sprint freestyler and butterflier and a member of the USA Swimming National Team as the 4th-best 200 meter butterflier in the US last summer.

Her best time in the 200 yard fly would have resulted in the 8th seed heading into last year’s NCAA Championship meet, which was ultimately canceled.

Nordmann’s Best Times in Yards:

  • 50 free – 22.89
  • 100 free – 49.05
  • 200 free – 1:43.62
  • 100 fly – 52.00
  • 200 fly – 1:53.62
  • 100 back – 53.58
  • 200 IM – 1:58.03

She currently trains with the Magnolia Aquatic Club in the northern suburbs of Houston, where their father Michael is the associate head coach. She is the 2nd of 4 sisters in the Nordmann family.

Nordmann’s older sister Lucie is a rising junior at Stanford and SwimSwam is told that she has not yet made a decision about her 2020-2021 season. Lucie has 6 All-America honors between her freshman and sophomore seasons at Stanford.

The rolling news cycle on Monday in college athletics has been largely focused around the growing noise that the NCAA fall sports season will be canceled, and every week brings more news of schools canceling sports and reverting to online-only education to start the fall semester.

For the Stanford women, who have won the last 3 NCAA Division I Championships in women’s swimming, the loss of Smith and Nordmann combined could have more than a 100 point impact at the NCAA Championship level, if the season happens. The Stanford senior class didn’t score as well at Pac-12s as their juniors or sophomores did, so the Cardinal will still be in the conversation if March happens the way its scheduled to happen.

Stanford does have a deep butterfly group, however; at least for relay purposes. They return 2 of the Pac-12s top 6 finishers in the 100 fly last season (Emma Wheal – 52.16 and Amalie Fackenthal – 52.52). They do graduate their top 2 performers in the 200 fly from last season – Katie Drabot and Allie Szekely.

With the rapid evolution of the decision-making about fall sports, however, all of that is bound to change, both for Stanford and their competitors.

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1 month ago

Very wise. Training in California is extremely constrained for a long time to come.

1 month ago

Wonder what the effect of all these college deferrals will be on Olympic trials outcomes??

Reply to  Monteswim
1 month ago

What do you mean?

Reply to  Ghost
1 month ago

As in will we see more younger swimmers on the Olympic team with an extra year of full-time training

Reply to  Monteswim
1 month ago

Maybe one or two but not sure that is because they went to college or stayed home.

Reply to  Ghost
1 month ago

Yeah staying home from college won’t matter.
What I do see happening especially on the women’s side is some teenagers not on the radar who will appear to come out of nowhere next year and challenge for the top 16 or better.

You have almost a year where kids maturing and getting faster without having a series of meets to show progression.

And unfortunately as the year goes in more of the 23 years and older will decide to move with life instead of training for OTs.

Reply to  Monteswim
1 month ago

It will be a bloodbath in women’s 200 meter butterfly at the 2021 U.S. Olympic Team Trials:

Personal Best Times
Women’s Event (LCM)
200 FL
Flickinger – 2:05.87 (07/25/18)
Smith – 2:06.39 (03/05/20)
Drabot – 2:06.59 (07/24/19)
Nordmann – 2:07.43 (07/31/19)
Hook – 2:07.87 (07/31/19)

Reply to  Smith-King-Dahlia-Manuel
1 month ago

Do we see a 2:04 at trials?

Reply to  Monteswim
1 month ago

I’m sure Regan Smith is in good hands with Mike Parratto, who incidentally coached Jenny Thompson.

Reply to  Smith-King-Dahlia-Manuel
1 month ago

2019 Phillips 66 National Championships
Deck Pass Live

1 month ago

It seems almost certain that Ruck will not be at Stanford this year.

1 month ago

Or in the foreseeable future.

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder 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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