Canadian backstroker Jade Hannah has announced her verbal commitment to the USC Trojans starting in 2020. Hannah trains with the High Performance Centre – Victoria, and is part of a surge of rising Canadian talent, particularly on the women’s side, over the last couple of years.
I am super stoked to announce my verbal commitment to swim and study at the University of Southern California for the year of 2020! Beyond excited to be a part of the Trojan family!❤️💛✌️ #bestbirthdayever #fighton
- 50m back – 27.93
- 100m back – 59.62
- 200m back – 2:10.44
- 50m free – 26.19
- 50m fly – 27.07
- 100m fly – 1:00.24
- 200m fly – 2:17.44
At the 2017 World Junior Championships, Hannah tied with Japan’s Natsumi Sakai in the 50 back for the gold medal at 27.93, finishing just ahead of Americans Grace Ariola and Regan Smith. She was also the backstroker on Canada’s title-winning 400 medley relay and swam to a bronze in the 100 back. In 2018, Hannah was a finalist in the 50 and 100 back at the Commonwealth Games, but pulled out of the 2018 Jr Pan Pacs due to injury.
She’s been back to racing recently, though, competing at the 2018 Pro Swim Series – Knoxville. There, she placed 5th in the 50 back (28.45), 8th in the 200 back (2:14.88), 8th in the 50 fly (27.07 PR), and 10th in the 100 back (1:01.17), all solid in-season swims.
Hannah could be likened to several American standouts in the high school class of 2020 in the 50 and 100 back. #1 Regan Smith, #3 Isabelle Stadden, and #6 Phoebe Bacon all have similar times in meters. Smith is ahead of the pack in all three backstroke events, but Hannah is faster than both Stadden and Bacon in the 50 back and faster than Stadden in the 100 back.
That’s all to say that Hannah is a huge pickup for the Trojans, who haven’t had a very strong backstroke presence in recent memory. Using the Swimulator converter tool, her times convert to 24.08 / 52.35 / 1:54.80 in backstroke, 24.43 / 53.61 in fly, and 23.07 in the 50 free.
Last year, Hannah Weiss was the Trojans’ backstroke leader, having placed 5th in the 100 back and 9th in the 200 back at the 2018 Pac-12 Championships. Weiss has since graduated, and while Louise Hansson is a very capable backstroker, the junior focuses on fly and IM when it comes to championship meets. Hansson, Hanni Leach, Courtney Caldwell, and Abby Miller are all part of the Trojans’ junior class, and they make up the program’s backstroke group. They’re all scheduled to use up eligibility just before Hannah gets to campus.
Hannah joins #5 Kaitlyn Dobler and class of 2018 #8 Erica Sullivan in the class of 2024, as Sullivan has deferred enrollment with hopes of making the 2020 Olympic team (most likely in open water).
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