COLORADO SPRINGS, Colorado, March 12. FOR the fifth consecutive year, Longhorn Aquatics, based in Austin, Texas, has earned the top spot in USA Swimming's Club Excellence Program, scoring 51,568 points. Each year, the voluntary program recognizes and rewards up to 200 USA Swimming clubs for their excellence in athlete performance.
This year, USA Swimming had 179 clubs apply for Club Excellence recognition, the highest number of clubs to participate in the program's eight year history. In addition to Longhorn, Club Wolverine (45,916 points) and North Baltimore Aquatic Club (31,607 points) round out the top three. (The point total indicates the total points scored from the FINA Long Course Performance Ratings/IPS "International Point Score" rating system).
Four clubs achieved Gold Medal status for the first time this year: Club Wolverine of Ann Arbor, Mich.; the Sarasota YMCA Sharks from Florida; Swim Pasadena based in Pasadena, Calif.; and FAST Swimming in Fullerton, Calif.
A total of $320,000 in grant dollars will be distributed to the combined 100 Gold level and Silver level clubs. Final grant awards will be announced to the individual clubs on June 17, 2008.
Special thanks to the USA Swimming for contributing this report.