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Drayden Bell, a two-time USA Swimming Scholastic All-American from Wichita, Kansas, has announced his verbal commitment to swim at the University of Alabama beginning in the fall of 2022.
“I’m extremely excited to announce my verbal commitment to continue my athletic and academic career at the University of Alabama! I want to thank all of my family, friends, coaches for helping me with this decision. And I want to thank God for getting me this far. Can’t wait for this next chapter in my life! ROLL TIDE! 🔴⚪️🐘.”
Bell won his third consecutive 50 free title and second straight 100 free title at the 2021 Kansas 6A Boys State Swimming and Diving Meet. He went 20.42 to win the 50 by half a second, coming with .33 of the 6A state record of 20.09 set by Sam Disette in 2017. Bell won the 100 free in a PB of 45.16 (1.01 off Disette’s record). He also led off the 200 free relay (20.65), although they were DQd, and anchored the 4th-place 400 free relay (45.85). His winning times in the 50/100 in 2020 were 20.53/45.69.
Bell does his club swimming with Wichita Swim Club. In March he competed at NCSA Spring Championships and picked up new PBs in the 50/100 back and 50/100 breast. He came in 7th in the 50 free, 15th in the 100 free, 10th in the 50 back, 25th in the 100 back, 9th in the 50 breast, and 15th in the 100 breast. He also scored a new PB in the LCM 50 free (23.75) at the long course time trials.
Best SCY times:
- 50 free – 20.10
- 100 free – 45.16
- 50 back – 22.72
- 100 back – 49.24
- 50 breast – 25.63
- 100 breast – 56.85
Bell will join #16 John Hayes and Connor Little in the Alabama class of 2026. Bell complements Hayes and Little with a strong short end of the freestyle events, while Hayes (20.9/45.3/1:37.1/4:26.3) and Little (20.5/44.9/1:38.8) are stronger in the mid-distance range.
New head coach Margo Geer is expected to take the reins in August 2021 after the Tokyo Olympic Games.
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