COLORADO SPRINGS, Colorado, April 6. FOR the sixth straight year, Longhorn Aquatics has been named USA Swimming's Club Excellence Team Champion. The Austin, Texas-based club took top honors in a very competitive year with 64,136 points. North Baltimore Aquatic Club placed second with 46,864 points, followed by SwimMAC Carolina with 42,091points.
The 2009 program results are based on performances in the 2008 Olympic year. Clubs have been selected as Gold, Silver or Bronze Medal clubs according to the following parameters:
Gold Level: The top 16 point-scoring clubs, plus up to eight clubs who placed athletes on the 2008 Olympic Team.
Silver Level: The remaining clubs ranked through #100 and/or not achieving Gold status.
Bronze Level: Clubs ranked #101 through #200 and/or not achieving Gold or Silver status.
A total of 21 clubs earned Gold Medal recognition this year. This group includes 8 clubs that have achieved Gold medal status for the first time:
Palo Alto (CA) Stanford Aquatics
BEST Swim Club, Phoenix AZ
Dallas (TX) Mustangs
Bluefish Swim Club, Attleboro, MA
Coral Springs (FL) Swim Club
The Fish, Fairfax, VA
Rose Bowl Aquatics, Pasadena, CA
Santa Barbara (CA) Swim Club
204 clubs applied for 2009 Club Excellence recognition, the highest number of clubs to participate in the program's nine-year history. The USA Swimming Club Excellence Program is a voluntary program that identifies and recognizes USA Swimming clubs for their commitment to excellence in performance and for their support of the sport.
In addition to recognizing the top club teams, the program provides grant funding for resources that enable clubs to expand and/or enhance the services they already provide for athletes. A total of $320,000 in grant dollars will be distributed to 100 Gold and Silver-level clubs. Final grant awards will be announced by July 13.
Special thanks to USA Swimming for contributing this report.