LSU Record-holder in the 200 backstroke and the 800 freestyle relau
2013 NCAA Qualifier
2013 SEC Academic Honor Roll
2012 SEC Academic Honor Roll
2011 SEC Academic Honor Roll
2010 SEC Freshmen Academic Honor Roll
SENIOR SEASON (2012-13)
Saved his best for last his senior season as he enjoyed the finest season of his career by swimming all of his career lows during his senior campaign … Broke LSU’s record in the 200 backstroke with a swim of 1:43.81 in the prelims and touched the wall first in the consolation final with a time of 1:44.26 at the SEC Championships … Anchored the program’s fastest all-time 800 free relay (6:25.67) group of Frank Greeff, Craig Hamilton and Dillon Love at SEC’s … Qualified for his first career NCAA Championships and competed on the 800 free relay (6:27.56) …Grabbed a 13th place finish in the 100 back (48.07) and a 21st place finish in the 200 IM (1:48.14) at SEC’s … Swam LSU’s fourth best all-time 200 IM of 1:48.10 and fifth best all-time 100 back mark of 47.74 in the prelims at SEC’s ... Registered a third place swim in the 200 IM and fourth place swims in the 100 back and 200 back at the midseason meet … Lead off the team’s fastest 400 medley relay (3:15.12) at the Phil Hansel Invite … Captured the 200 back (1:49.75) in a dual victory over Kentucky during men’s senior day … Won the 200 back (1:50.21) in a road win over SMU … Posted a pair of second place swims in the 200 back (1:49.62) and in the 200 IM (1:53.59) in a win over Alabama … Took third in the 100 back (50.29) in a dual with Texas A&M … Named to SEC Academic Honor Roll in each of his four years in Baton Rouge … Picked up his fourth varsity letter.
JUNIOR SEASON (2011-12)
Dropped time in both backstroke events and the individual medley en route to his best collegiate season thus far … Reset all of his career highs and moved up the ladder in the program’s annals in the 100 back, 200 back and 200 IM … Notched a sixth place finish in the 200 back with the program’s sixth fastest mark of 1:45.36 at the SEC Championships … Finished his 100 back run in 10th place with the program’s eighth best all-time mark of 48.46 at the conference meet … Took 16th in the 200 IM (1:48.38) after notching the program’s fourth fastest mark of 1:48.32 in the prelims at SEC’s … Also competed in every dual meet and the Tennessee Invitational … Won the 200 back (1:49.90) against Texas A&M … Placed fifth in the 200 back (1:47.92) and sixth in the 100 back (49.64) at the Tennessee Invitational … Earned two valuable points in the 200 back (1:50.90) in a two-point victory over Alabama … Cranked out silver medal finishes in the backstroke events against Auburn … Earned his third varsity letter.
SOPHOMORE SEASON (2010-11)
Solid backstroker who took a significant step forward in his second collegiate season … One of two LSU scorers in the 200 back at SEC’s and recorded program top-10 times in both backstroke events … Competed in every dual meet and SEC Championships … Delivered 13th in the 200 back at SEC’s with a personal-best 1:46.74 clocking, sixth in program annals … Also swam to a personal best and another program top-10 time of 49.22 in the 100 back to take 20th and finished 31st in the 200 individual medley with a top time of 1:51.94 … Came through with a big victory in the 200 back (1:49.99) in a close win over Florida State at home … Raced to first-place in the 200 back in a victory over Incarnate Word … Swam to runner-up honors in the 200 back and third-place in the 200 freestyle versus nationally-ranked Florida … Notched third in the 200 back in a road victory over Alabama and touched the wall in third in the 200 IM in a win over American … Named to the SEC Academic Honor Roll … Earned his second varsity letter.
FRESHMAN SEASON (2009-10)
Enjoyed a nice first-year campaign, contributing in backstroke, freestyle and individual medley events … Recorded the team’s second-fastest time in the 200 back … Competed in every dual meet, Houston’s Cougar Classic Fall Invitational and SEC Championships … Swam to 19th in the 200 back at SEC’s with a program top-10 time of 1:48.79 … Also finished 26th in both the 100 back (50.98) and 400 IM (4:07.04) … Seized sixth in the 200 back, ninth in the 100 back and 11th in the 200 IM at the Cougar Classic … Emerged victorious in the 200 back in a home victory over UNO … Captured runner-up honors in the 200 back versus nationally-ranked Tennessee and registered third in that event against defending national champion Auburn … Notched second in the 100 back in a road win at UNO … Named to the SEC Freshmen Academic Honor Roll … Earned his first varsity letter.
PRIOR TO LSU
A multiple Kentucky state finalist who captured runner-up honors in the 100 back at the 2009 state championships … Also a five-time Regional champion … Specialized in backstroke and freestyle races … Claims top times of 50.97 and 1:50.46 in the 100 and 200 back, respectively … Coached by Richard Dickmann.
Born Aug. 20, 1991 in Cincinnati, Ohio … Parents are Mark and Jenny Kunkel … Has two younger brothers, Nate and Jake … Majoring in finance.
NICK’S TOP TIMES
100 backstroke, 47.74, 2013 SEC Championships
200 backstroke, 1:43.81, 2013 SEC Championships
200 individual medley, 1:48.10, 2013 SEC Championships
NICK’S TOP 2012-13 TIMES
100 backstroke, 47.74, SEC Championships
200 backstroke, 1:43.81, SEC Championships
200 individual medley, 1:48.10, SEC Championships