Blugold Hall of Fame
In a Blugold swimming program that has produced many All-Americans, Kersti Nelson ranks among the greatest during her career from 1986 through 1990. A four-year All-American in 12 individual events and 11 relays, Nelson personally scored 306.5 points in conference competition and 277 points in national competition. She was a member of four Blugold conference championship teams and two NAIA national championship teams in 1987 and 1988. The Blugolds were also second and third at nationals her other two seasons on the team in 1989 and 1990.
Nelson was a member of the Blugolds' national championship 800 freestyle relay team that set an NAIA record in 1987. She won nine individual conference titles including four straight in the 1650 freestyle. She won the 400 individual medley twice and the 200 IM, 200 freestyle and 500 freestyle once each.
When she left UW-Eau Claire, she held the individual school records for the 200 freestyle (1:55.79); the 500 freestyle (5:05.32), the 1000 freestyle (10:33.40) and the 1650 freestyle (17:28.25). She was also a member of the school record-setting 400 medley relay, 400 freestyle relay and 800 freestyle relay teams.
Nelson was a team MVP in both 1989 and 1990, earned the Hardest Worker award in 1989 and the Most Improved award in 1987.
A graduate of Fergus Falls High School, Nelson graduated from UW-Eau Claire in 1991 with a bachelor of science degree in physical education. She is currently working toward her master's in education at St. Cloud State.
She is presently the physical education and adaptive physical education teacher at Rice Lake Elementary School in Maple Grove and serves as assistant swim coach at Maple Grove High School. At Maple Grove, where she has coached the girls team six years and the boys team five years, she helped the girls win a conference championship during the 2000 season and the boys complete an undefeated season, win a section championship and finish as state runner-up last winter. Maple Grove is currently the defending Minnesota state champion in the 200 medley relay and the 400 freestyle relay. During her coaching career, Maple Grove has had four girls and six boys earn honorable mention All-American status.
Nelson has served on several committees at Rice Lake Elementary including a Safety Committee, Technology Committee and Teacher Advisory Team Committee.