INDIANAPOLIS, Indiana, August 30. THE NCAA has moved the site of the 2013 Division II swimming and diving championships to Birmingham, Ala., from its original location in Cleveland.
The organization today announced that Birmingham's CrossPlex multisport facility will be the site of the Winter Championships Festival, which also includes indoor track and wrestling. The original dates of the swimming and diving championships — March 6-9 — will not change, according to the NCAA.
The Winter Championships Festival was originally scheduled to be held about 45 minutes away from Cleveland at the SPIRE Institute, a multi-sport training facility that has been hosting national championships in several sports since opening in January 2010. Swimming World has learned that several teams had complained to the NCAA that the long drive from hotels in downtown Cleveland to the SPIRE Institute could affect athletes' performances.
“Not only will our student-athletes get the opportunity to compete at a first-class athletics complex, we'll be able to provide a quality Festival experience with the hotel arrangements and the proximity of the competition venues,” NCAA Division II Presidents Council Chair Pat O'Brien said.
The NCAA only holds such multi-sport festivals in Division II. The first one was held as a championship event for fall sports in 2011, then as a spring championship in 2012.
Wayne State will go into the 2013 swimming and diving championships as the reigning women's team champion after upsetting Drury by one point. The Drury men, retained their crown for the eighth-straight season at the 2012 championships.