World Junior Champion Jade Hannah Announces Transfer To LSU

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:

50 free 25.8 22.68
100 free 56.26 50.33
50 back 27.91 25.23
100 back 59.62 52.66
200 back 2:09.28 1:53.99

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.

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3 months ago

Swimming community to Rick Bishop:

maximum mchuge
Reply to  DCSwim
3 months ago

A bad team environment

Yellow Sub
3 months ago

Happy for Jade!

3 months ago

must be the cajun food

3 months ago

I thought she was going to UVA?

Reply to  Curious
3 months ago

Likely a transfer credits issue… UVA is very strict on allowing in academic transfer credits.
Although I have no idea if that is an issue in this situation, it is a major limiting factor for potential transfers to UVA.

Reply to  CDL
3 months ago

My guess is that most transfers out of a Power 5 school are calling Virginia. Besides any academic stuff that may or may not be going on, at some point, Virginia runs out of money. I would think that most Canadians would need scholarship money to justify paying US tuitions versus Canadian ones – UBC is about $6k for a Canadian, Virginia is about $50k for a Canadian.

While Jade had a lot of international success in the junior ranks, she wasn’t that good at USC. As wild as it seems, a 52.6 backstroker isn’t worth that much scholarship money to Virginia, but is probably worth a full ride at LSU. That would’ve put her tied-for-4th on Virginia’s roster last… Read more »

Last edited 3 months ago by Braden Keith
Reply to  Braden Keith
3 months ago

Yeah all of that. Plus another commenter said she was kicked out of USC, and I’m sure DeSorbo talked to Lea, so he probably knows the full story on why that happened. 🤷‍♂️

3 months ago

LSU might be building something here. Obviously going to take a while but they’re getting some good swimmers.

Reply to  SwimFanner
3 months ago

Will build until Rick takes it a step too far. I bet in a number of years there will be issue where he loses it all for verbally abusing swimmers or something. Coach with a good reputation comes in and wants to make a ‘statement’ and starts making cuts. The only statement made is “if you don’t swim fast, your worthless.” Just a matter of time before a faster swimmer isn’t performing and he longer sees value in them.

Reply to  RAP
3 months ago

It’s a competitive swim team. Why is it in swimming only that making cuts based on performance is so reviled? It’s commonplace in every other sport but in swimming one is “verbally abusive” or dosent care about the mental health of an athlete if the coach makes a cut.

maximum mchuge
Reply to  RAP
3 months ago

But it isn’t just that, I’ve heard things from people around Ann Arbor about him.

Reply to  maximum mchuge
3 months ago

Did they also tell you it smells there?

maximum mchuge
Reply to  Deisel
3 months ago

Not as bad as a bayou

Reply to  maximum mchuge
3 months ago

You’ve heard “things”…. Really now….

About Yanyan Li

Yanyan Li

Although Yanyan wasn't the greatest competitive swimmer, she learned more about the sport of swimming through scoring countless dual meets, being a timer, and keeping track of her teammates' best times for three years as a team manager. She eventually ventured into the realm of writing and joined SwimSwam in …

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