5x Kansas 6A State Champion Drayden Bell Chooses Alabama for 2022-23

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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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1 month ago

So it’s the assistant coaches doing the recruiting? Or is Margo able to do some if she isn’t on board yet?

Last edited 1 month ago by Austinpoolboy
Reply to  Austinpoolboy
1 month ago

Don’t know if they’ve moved up her official start date, but she is/was a volunteer assistant, and volunteers are allowed to participate in recruiting activities.

Reply to  Braden Keith
1 month ago

NCAA Bylaw 11.01.6 – Coach, Volunteer

In sports other than football and basketball, a volunteer coach is any coach who does not receive compensation or remuneration from the institution’s athletics department or any organization funded in whole or in part by the athletics department or that is involved primarily in the promotion of the institution’s athletics program (e.g., booster club, athletics foundation association). The following provisions shall apply:
a. The individual is prohibited from contacting and evaluating prospective student-athletes off campus or from scouting opponents off campus and may not perform recruiting coordination functions (see NCAA Bylaw 11.7.2).
b. The individual may receive a maximum of two complimentary tickets to home athletics contests in the coach’s sport.
… Read more »

Reply to  Austinpoolboy
1 month ago

Is coach Rebecca still at Bama?

Reply to  Austinpoolboy
1 month ago

From what I’ve heard, Margo has been leading the sprint group for months now

1 month ago

20.1 wow!

1 month ago


About Anne Lepesant

Anne Lepesant

Anne Lepesant is the mother of four daughters, all of whom swim/swam in college. With an undergraduate degree from Princeton (where she was an all-Ivy tennis player) and an MBA from INSEAD, she worked for many years in the financial industry, both in France and the U.S. Anne is currently …

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