A few weeks after entering the transfer portal, Canadian swimmer and five-time World Junior Champion Jade Hannah announced that she will be continuing her collegiate career at Louisiana State University. She spent her freshman year, which was the 2021-22 season, competing for the University of Southern California.
In a statement to SwimSwam, Hannah said:
I’m excited to continue my academic studies and swimming career at LSU and experience the southern hospitality of Louisiana. I’m ready to contribute to the success of the team and work with the coaching staff that is led by head coach Rick Bishop. I’m thrilled to be a member of the LSU family!
Hannah was originally set to compete for USC in the 2020-21 season, but her entry was delayed to fall 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In her freshman year, she competed at the 2022 Pac-12 championships, where she was 22nd in the 50 free (22.74), 9th in the 100 back (52.77), and 8th in the 200 back (1:55.82). And while her 50 free at that meet was a best time, her personal bests in the backstrokes were set earlier on in the season. She set her 100 back PB (52.66) at the Trojan Invite in October 2021, and her 200 back PB (1:53.99) at the Art Adamson Invitational in November 2021.
Hannah’s best times, LCM and SCY:
Both Hannah’s 100 and 200 back times would beat out LSU’s best backstrokers by a significant margin. In the 2021-22 season, LSU’s fastest 100 back time was a 53.67 swam by Katarina Milutinovich, while the team’s fastest 200 back time was a 1:59.50 swam by Sarah Thompson. Hannah also would have been quick enough to finish 11th in the 100 back and 7th in the 200 back at the 2022 SEC Championships and score 39 points—more individual points than all but three LSU swimmers at that meet.
Hannah is not the only Canadian to transfer to LSU, as Olympic gold medalist and NCAA record holder Maggie MacNeil will be using her fifth year of eligibility at the school. Although the two of them both competed internationally for Canada, they have never been on an major international team together, as Hannah swam at the 2017 and 2019 World Junior Championships and MacNeil swam at the 2018 Junior Pan Pacs before making the 2019 World Championships and 2020 Olympic team. If both swimmers are competing this fall, the LSU women could easily become a top 25 ranked team in the NCAA.
At the 2017 World Junior Championships, Hannah won gold in the 50 back as well as the mixed freestyle and medley relays and took 100 back bronze. In 2019, she claimed silver in the 50 back but won gold in the 100 and 200 back. In addition, she also took two bronzes in the mixed free and medley relay.
Because Hannah entered the portal after May 1, she would need an NCAA waiver to be eligible to compete this fall.
LSU is entering the 2022-23 season in its second year under head coach Rick Bishop.