Miner Nuggets: All-American after finishing fifth at the 2008 NCAA Outdoor Championships...Ranks fourth in the javelin in the school record books with a UTEP best of 244-10 (74.62)...four of his throws currently rank in the top ten all-time in UTEP history.
2008 (Junior): Outdoor: 2008 C-USA Champion with a mark of 67.88 (222-8) on May 17...finished fifth at the NCAA Championship final (70.60) on June 13th...three-time C-USA Champion from 2006-08...winner at the Springtime Invitational with a season-best and NCAA Regional qualifier throw of 74.62 (244-10) on March 29...second at the NCAA Midwest Regional, 69.92 (229-5)...silver medalist at the Texas Relays on April 3, 71.68 (235-9).
2007 (Sophomore): Outdoor: NCAA Regionals champion in the javelin with a mark of 68.87 (225-11) ... placed 12th at the NCAA Championship with a throw of 60.81 (199-6) ... gold medalist at the C-USA Championships on May 11 ... took first at the Springtime and UTEP Invites and fourth at the Texas Relays ... season-best mark came during the preliminary round of the NCAAs (69.19; 227-0).
2006 (Freshman): Outdoor: Gold medalist at the British national championship in the javelin on July 23 ... placed 12th in the javelin at the NCAA Championships on June 10 ... threw a season-best 229-0 (69.79) during the qualifying round of the NCAA Championships ... scored six points with a third-place finish in the javelin at the NCAA Midwest Regional on May 27 with a mark of 222-10 (67.91) ... C-USA javelin champion with a throw of 213-10 (65.18) ... took sixth in the section A final of the javelin (66.76; 219-0) at the Texas Relays ... gold medalist in the javelin at the Springtime Invitational on April 1 with a throw of 221-5 (67.47).
Before UTEP: Came to UTEP with a PR of of 234-7 (71.49) in the javelin ... prep coach was George Eccles ... ranked sixth in the United Kingdom among senior men in 2005 ... college and country champion in 2005 ... placed 12th in the event at the 2005 European Junior Championships ... eighth at 2005 British Championships ... launched his season-best throw of 234-7 (71.49) to win the 2005 British Junior Championships ... 2003 British Junior champion and 10th at the 2003 European Junior Championships ... 2002 British Junior champion ... competed at the 2002 IAAF World Junior Championships in Kingston, Jamaica.
Personal: Full name is Alex Simon van der Merwe ... majoring in criminal justice ... son of Lesley van der Merwe ... has one brother (Darren) ... born Jan. 5, 1984, in Durban, South Africa.