Gateway Class of 1972

Mel had an illustrious career at Gateway Senior High. His accomplishments were many. It is difficult to put his accomplishments to words. Below is a listing of that world class championship swimming career:

1972PA’ATHLETE of the year including all sports (Pa’athlete Magazine)
1972National High School Swimmer of the Year (Swimming World Magazine)
1971Ranked 3rd in World – 100-meter Backstroke for all ages
1971USA National Champion – 100-meter Backstroke for all ages
1971Pan-American Games Gold at age 16-100-meter backstroke for all ages
1972Nationally ranked #1 High School Swimmer in 100-yard Backstoke and 100-yard Freestyle
1972Nationally ranked #2 High School Swimmer in 200-yard Individual Medley
1972Held 8 of 10 Gateway Senior High School team records upon graduation -some are standing 27 years later
1970-72 W.P.I.A.L. Swimmer of the Year 3 years in a row – the first sophomore or junior to receive the award in its 35 year history
1970-72Seven time P.I.A.A. State Champion (setting 7 state records)
1969-72Eight time W.P.I.A.L. Champion (setting 8 W.P.I.A.L. records) – 1972 record stood for 20 years
1972Set National High School Record 100-yard Backstroke
1970-72Undefeated from sophomore year on in every individual high school race in dual, district, W.P.I.A.L. and State competition
1972Upon completion of Mel’s high school career Gateway High School established the MEL NASH AWARD to be given to the outstanding senior each year

And then Mel went off to Indiana University:

1972-76Fifteen time N.C.A.A. Division I All American at Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana
1972-76Eight time Big Ten Conference Champion
1973Member of NCAA Championship Team, Indiana University
1973 Gold Medal at World Championships 4 X 100 meter Freestyle relay
1973Ranked 7°’ in the World in 100-meter Freestyle
1974American Record set in the 4 X 100 yard Freestyle relay
1975Bronze Medal at World Championship 100-meter Backstroke
1976Fifth place at U.S. Olympic Trials 100-meter Backstroke – missed the team by 16 one hundredths of a second

And since his college days:

1977Named Head Men’s Coach at University of Texas at Arlington
(At age 22 – the youngest Division I Head Coach ever)
1979Named Head Men’s and Women’s Coach at Texas A & M University at age 24
1985Led Women’s team to 11th place team finish N.C.A.A. Championship
1990-95Lead University design consultant for Natatorium in A & M’s $36 million student recreation center
1995-PresentTexas A & M head Men’s coach guiding Men’s team to 10°’ place team finish at 1999 N.C.A.A. Championship
1999Assistant Coach, Pan American Games Men’s Team with two Texas A & M Men’s swimmers on squad – one winning Gold and Bronze
1979-PresentVolunteer Director of the area USA swimming club for past 20 years
1977-PresentHave coached over 60 N.C.A.A. All-Americans including National, Goodwill games and Pan-American Champions
1977-PresentMarried to the former Carol Reid of Brownstown, Indiana
Two children: Kathryn (age 7) and Mel Nash II (age 4-1/2 – named for Mel’s father)

Mel is a member of the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame.

“Mel Nash brought Gateway Swimming to State and National prominence. His presence at competitions inspired teammates and attracted the attention of all competitors and spectators. There was never a question of Mel winning an event, but how fast will he go and would you witness record swimming history being made. Today, Mel still remains a source of pride for Gateway athletics as swimmers marvel at his records. I am honored to be a part of Mel’s Gateway Swimming history.”

Coach Larry Petrillo

We asked Mel about his most vivid memory of Gateway High School athletics.

“During my sophomore year one of our goals was to get the State record in the 200 Medley Relay. Myself, Corky Semler, Rob Creagan and Craig Simpson swam in the state finals and won by about a body length.  As we celebrated we looked at the scoreboard and saw the unofficial time of 1:40.7 which just missed the record of 1:40.58. We were disappointed until the official time was flashed up of 1:40.57 setting off another wave of excitement and establishing in addition to the State Record a school record which stood at Gateway for 25 years.”

Mel Nash, 1999

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