SEC 100 Breast Runner-Up Liam Bell of Alabama Enters NCAA Transfer Portal

Liam Bell has entered the NCAA transfer portal after his freshman season with the Alabama Crimson Tide.


  • 50 free – 20.29
  • 100 free – 44.18
  • 200 free – 1:39.73
  • 100 breast – 52.21
  • 200 breast – 1:57.30
  • 100 fly – 48.78
  • 200 IM – 1:48.85


  • 100 breast – 51.39
  • 200 breast – 1:52.93
  • 200 IM – 1:44.35

Bell, a strong commit (54.0/2:00 in the breaststroke events) when he was recruited in the fall of 2018, improved further in his senior year, getting down to 52.21 in the 100 and 1:57.30 in the 200. In his freshman campaign with Alabama, he made huge drops in the 200 breast and 200 IM especially, while taking a good chunk of time off of his 100 breast.

While the 2020 NCAA Championships were canceled due to the novel coronavirus pandemic, Bell was seeded to make the 100 breast A-final and the 200 breast B-final. With the 2019-20 NCAA season all but concluded, Bell was the fastest freshman in the country in the 100 breast, just ahead of Texas first-year Caspar Corbeau (51.46). His season culminated at the 2020 SEC Championships, where he was the 100 breast runner-up and placed fourth in the 200 breast, while also winning the 200 IM C-final.

Bell had committed to the Alabama program prior to their hiring of current head coach, Coley Stickels.

It’s unknown as of this posting where Bell plans on going next, but he’d be a prime pickup for any program in the country with his breaststroke speed.

Next year, Alabama still returns rising sophomore Derek Maas, who improved to 51.81 in the 100 breast and 1:53.15 in the 200 breast in his freshman campaign with the Crimson Tide. Maas was seeded T-10th in the 100 breast and T-20th in the 200 breast for the 2020 NCAA Champs.

Leave a Reply

Notify of
newest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
7 months ago

Please NC State!!

Reply to  Jamie
7 months ago

Yeah I’d love to see them finally with a national level breaststroker since Molacek transitioned to sprinting when he transferred. Somewhere like Indiana seems more likely though

Lime disease
Reply to  Riley
7 months ago

If he came to Alabama to swim for Jonty, I don’t think he will go to Indiana where Jonty got fired..

Reply to  Riley
7 months ago

They’ve recruited plenty of high level breaststrokers. It seems the issue is the coaching, and if I were a breaststroker I’d look elsewhere.

Reply to  Reid
7 months ago

What high level breaststrokers have they recruited? The women’s side is loaded with high level breaststrokers, so it’s not coaching.

Reply to  Reid
6 months ago

If you look to the women’s program, you would be proven very wrong. Which high level breaststrokers have they recruited in recent years?

7 months ago

Very interesting. Not sure why he would leave after those drops if not for personal reasons

SoCal Coach
Reply to  Swimfan
7 months ago

Hey Swimfan – go back and read the comments for the Jack Blake story. Therein lies your answer.

Reply to  Swimfan
7 months ago

It seems Coley is a polarizing figure. Ryan Held sure does love him though and the man is an amazing sprint coach.

7 months ago

Bama also lost a commit to Michigan…

Reply to  Bula
7 months ago


Reply to  Bula
7 months ago

Who is the commit?

Reply to  Bailey
7 months ago

Greta Gidley

About Karl Ortegon

Karl Ortegon

Karl Ortegon studied sociology at Wesleyan University in Middletown, CT, graduating in May of 2018. He began swimming on a club team in first grade and swam four years for Wesleyan.

Read More »