July's news and notes on the Notre Dame men's swimming and diving team
Junior All-American Zach Stephens sets second meet record in winning the 200 breaststroke
Notre Dame swimmers score two race wins, five more school records on Friday night
Notre Dame set three team bests on Thursday, and is in fifth place overall
Notre Dame defeated the Vikings, 204.5-94.5, in the 29-year veteran's final home meet.
Bertie Nel, a sophomore freestyle specialist from Tzaneen, South Africa, sits down for Student. Athlete. Irish.
The Men's and Women's Swimming & Diving teams took on Michigan State at home on January 21st.
AS A SENIOR: Primarily swam in backstroke events throughout the year, specializing in the 50 back as lead swimmer in the 200 IM relay ... also swam the 100 and 200 back and dabbled in the 200 IM ... relay team finished first against Cleveland State (24.19 split) ... fastest split as a member of the relay was at Hawkeye Invitational, where team finished sixth (23.24) ... helped lead relay team to third place finish against Michigan State (24.34 split) ... clocked his fastest time in the 100 back at Hawkeye Invitational (49.11) ... was fourth in dual meet against Wisconsin in 100 back event (51.31) ... finished in top three in 100 back event at back-to-back meets with 51.73 and 52.08 times ... was fifth at Hawkeye Invitational in 200 back (1:46.20) after touching in at 1:46.12 in prelim race ... broke into the top 10 at dual meet with Pittsburgh and Virginia Tech in 200 back (1:52.83) ... finished second against Michigan State in 200 back (1:53.09) ... was sixth in 200 back (1:53.93) in tri-meet against Northwestern and Michigan ... touched the wall in 1:54.22 against Cleveland State in 200 back ... finished second in same meet in the 100 breast (58.70) ... in 200 IM was sixth at Hawkeye Invitational (1:48.53) ... touched the wall in 4:11.43 at Shamrock Invitational in 400 IM ... at ACC Championships was 19th in 100 back (49.66), 21st in 200 back (1:47.51) and 35th in 200 IM (1:48.48) ... earned College Swimming Coaches Association (CSCA) Honorable Mention Scholar-All-American accolades ... monogram winner.
AS A JUNIOR: Competed in a number of events throughout the course of the year, specializing in the 100 and 200 back and the 200 IM ... earned a pair of sixth-place finishes at the BIG EAST Championships in the 200 back (1:47.27) and the 100 back (49.33) ... was the third swimmer to reach the wall in the 200 back (1:52.41) at the Shamrock Invitational ... also took sixth place in the 100 back (51.58), and helped the 200 medley relay and 400 medley relay team to fourth-place finishes in the same meet ... against Cleveland State in a dual meet, placed third in the 200 medley relay (1:36.31), 200 IM (1:56.32), and the 100 back (52.27) ... swam the second-fastest 100 back time in program history (48.61) at the Iowa Hawkeye Invitational ... in other dual meets, brought home gold in the 100 back (50.42) against Louisville along with a third-place finish in the 200 medley relay, a fifth-place finish in the 200 back, and an eighth-place finish in the 200 IM ... against Pittsburgh, racked up two runner-up finishes in the 200 medley relay (1:32.09) and the 100 back (51.00) ... BIG EAST Academic All-Star ... monogram winner.
AS A SOPHOMORE: Recorded two top-eight finishes individually at the BIG EAST Championships ... earned fourth place in the 200 back (1:46.48) in a lifetime best, NCAA B-cut-earning swim that also vaulted him into fourth all-time for the Irish in the event ... posted a seventh-place finish in the 100 back (49.35), another lifetime best and fast enough to make him the third-best performer in Irish history in the event ... garnered all-BIG EAST honors as part of both the silver-winning 400 medley relay and the bronze-earning 200 medley relay ... had a pair of top-eight finishes at the Hawkeye Invitational, swimming the 200 back (1:48.08, sixth) and the 100 back (49.54, seventh) ... recorded his season-best time in the 400 IM at the same meet, touching the wall at 4:00.99 ... registered third-place points for the Irish in the dual meet against Louisville in the 100 back and a fourth-place showing in the 200 back ... monogram winner.
AS A FRESHMAN: Registered a top-eight finish at the BIG EAST Championships with a 1:48.27 performance in the 200 back ... also recorded personal- best times of 3:59.22 in the 400 IM and 1:50.64 in the 200 IM at the league championship ... top 100 back time came at the Hawkeye Invitational with a 50.59 showing ... swam to another personal-best against Cleveland State, touching the pad in 1:42.62 in the 200 free.,/p>
PREP AND PERSONAL: Won the bronze medal at the 2010 South African National Short Course Championships in the 200 individual medley ... swam for Ben Vorster High School in Tzaneen, South Africa ... team captain as a senior ... also played rugby ... holds a number of provincial, school and club records ... competed in two FINA World Cup meets and the 2008 South African Olympic Trials ... high school class president ... full name is Albertus Jacobus Nel ... son of Corne and Joce Nel ... graduated from the Mendoza College of Business in May 2014 with a degree in accounting.
Nel's Career Bests
|100 Free||48.04||Oakland / Michigan (2010)|
|200 Free||1:42.62||Cleveland State (2011)|
|100 Back||48.61||Hawkeye Invite (2012)|
|200 Back||1:45.99||Hawkeye Invite (2012)|
|200 IM||1:48.48||ACC Championships (2014)|
|400 IM||3:56.15||Hawkeye Invite (2012)|