Zane Waddell is a competitive swimmer who represents South Africa internationally.
Waddell had an immediate impact on Bama his freshman year. At the SEC championships, he was the runner-up in the 50 free (19.17), while also finishing ninth in the 100 free (42.30) and 28th in the 100 fly (47.87). At the NCAA Championships, he was a member of the NCAA runnerup 200 medley relay team, while also swimming with the 200 free relay (5th) and 400 free relay (9th). He also finished 13th in the 50 free (19.24) and 16th in the 100 free (42.90) at the NCAAs
Waddell continued to improve his 2nd year at Alabama, and switched up his events. At the SEC Championships, he finished third in the 100 back (45.83), fourth in the 50 free (19.43), and ninth in the 100 free (42.80) at the conference meet. He was a member of the SEC champion 200 free relay team, while also swimming with the third place 200 medley relay and 400 free relay teams, and fifth place 400 medley relay. At the NCAA Championships, he placed 12th in the 100 back (45.39), 25 in the 100 free (42.71) and 43rd in the 50 free (19.75). He was also part of the 400 free relay (7th), 200 medley relay (9th), 200 free relay (10th), and 400 medley relay (11th).
Waddell’s junior year saw his backstroke really come together. At the SEC Champs, he took the SEC championship in the 100 back (44.77), while also finishing seventh in the 100 free (42.67) and ninth in the 50 free (19.36). He was also a member of the SEC champion 200 medley relay (1:22.19) and 200 free relay (1:15.43) teams, which each set the SEC meet and pool records. At the NCAA’s, he placed 12th in the 100 back (45.14), 30th in the 50 free (19.47), and was a member of the NCAA champion 200 medley relay team, which set the pool record in 1:22.26.
Waddell started the post-season of his senior year off on a good note. In Alabama’s 200 medley relay at the SEC Championships, he split 20.33, the 3rd fastest split of all-time, en route to their 4th place finish. On Day 2 of competition, Waddell took 2 SEC titles home: the 50 free (19.07) and as part of the 200 free relay (18.60, 2nd leg). Day 4 saw 2 more titles for Waddell, as he not only won the 100 back in a huge best of 44.24, but he then turned around and led off Alabama’s 400 medley relay in 44.10, helping them to a new meet record of 3:02.17 and SEC title. Individually, he finished his meet with a 2nd place finish in the 100 free, recording another lifetime best at 41.82. In the last event of the meet, Waddell helped Bama to another relay title in the 400 free relay, splitting 41.84 in the 2nd leg.
2018 South African Short Course National Championships
Won the 50 back and 100 back at the 2018 SA SC champs, as well as placed 2nd in the 50 and 100 free.
2019 World Championships
Waddell had a break through long course meet in Gwangju, winning the men’s 50 backstroke in a time of 24.43, upsetting favorite Kliment Kolesnikov.
2019 Swammy Awards
For his breakout summer and world title, Zame Waddell earned the African Male Swimmer of the Year Swammy Award.