Futures Champion Eric Stelmar Verbally Commits to Alabama

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New Alabama head coach Coley Stickels has wasted no time in hitting the recruiting trail. The latest commitment to the Crimson Tide since he took over the squad is junior Eric Stelmar, who hails from Mansfield, Texas in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex. Stelmar attends Mansfield Legacy High School, where he trains under Nicholas Johnson, and does his club swimming with the Mansfield Aquatic Club under coach Cody Huckabay.

“I am thrilled and honored to report my verbal commitment to study and swim at the University of Alabama in the Fall of 2020. When I stepped onto campus, met the team and coaching staff, and absorbed the Crimson Culture, I knew this was the place I wanted to call home. I couldn’t have gotten to this point without the support of family, friends, teammates, and coaches from past and present. Having the opportunity to work with new Head Coach Coley Stickles and the rest of the awesome Alabama coaching team is really a dream come true. I am also extremely grateful for everyone who has helped me along the way and am stoked for what the future holds! ROLL TIDE!”

Primarily a backstroker, Stelma has qualified for finals of the 100 back at the Texas 5A (smaller schools) State Championship meet in each of his 3 high school seasons so far.

While his presence in the state finals has been consistent in his high school career, his breakout junior season brought 2 big changes: the first is that he swapped the 100 free for the 200 free, which resulted him him dropping a whopping 4.8 seconds in that event over the course of the 2018-2019 season.

The other is that as a junior he figured out how to hit his finals swims. As a freshman and a sophomore, all 3 of his individual finals swims were slower than his prelims swims. As a junior, he hit the same time in the 100 back twice, to the hundredth, and dropped 2-tenths in the 200 free.

Texas 5A State Championship Progression:

Freshman Sophomore Junior
100 back 8th – 52.60 (51.91 in prelims) 8th – 51.71 (50.52 in prelims) 2nd – 49.59 (49.59 in prelims)
100 free 17th – 48.04 5th – 46.79 (46.45 in prelims)
200 free
3rd – 1:39.55 (1:39.77 in prelims)
Best Times, all Meets, Yards:

  • 50 free – 20.97
  • 100 free – 46.12
  • 200 free – 1:39.55
  • 50 back – 23.28
  • 100 back – 49.07
  • 200 back – 1:45.89

Last season, Alabama trained the SEC Champion in the 50 free, 100 free, and 100 back: 3 of Stelmar’s best events (albeit under a different coaching staff). Of the Crimson Tides’ 4 sub-48 backstrokers last season, 2, led by rising sophomore Spencer Walker (47.27), will still be on the roster when Stelmar arrives. The team has less depth in the 200 back.

Stelmar was a 2018 USA Swimming Futures Champion in the 100 meter backstroke (57.86) , and also took 2nd in the 200 backstroke (Best time is now 2:06.88). At the 2018 USA Swimming Junior Nationals – West meet, he finished 9th in the 200 yard backstroke.

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2 years ago

Does this mean he has to move to Indiana?

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder of SwimSwam.com. He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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