Largest-Ever National Collegiate Club Championships Kicks Off April 6th


By Norah Hunt, Swimming World College Intern. 

On April 6-8, 2182 swimmers from 116 different college club teams will come together in Atlanta, Georgia to compete at the Collegiate Club Swimming and Diving National Championship meet.

This year is expected to be the largest turnout in the event’s 13-year history, with the University of Virginia looking to defend their title from last year. As the largest collegiate meet conducted outside of the NCAA, teams are in final preparations for three days of fun and fast swimming.

Georgia Tech Aquatic Center

Photo Courtesy: Georgia Tech Athletics

Participation at the College Club National Championships has risen steadily over the years, but the largest increase has come within the last two years. The reason for this jump is due in large part to the recent formation of a National Governing Body. With the help of U.S. Masters, College Club Swimming (CCS) can now work with college club programs to “add a certain amount of legitimacy to club swimming, and also act as a resource for these programs,” meet director Maddie Sibilia said.

The new governing body can help create a national time database for college club swimming, create meet rankings, provide insurance coverage for teams, and even help create new college club programs. The CCS is also incorporating Regional College Club meets to begin in the fall of 2018. These meets will still provide a championship-type setting, but will have no time standards and will be much closer to home for certain schools.

The creation of the CCS is doing wonders for the world of college club swimming, and this initiative can truly come at no better time. With the alarming increase in the amount of varsity swim programs being cut, more athletes than ever are turning to club swimming as a way to still be active in the sport they love, while being able to attend a school they love.

By eliminating the pressure of competing at the NCAA level, club swimming provides the perfect amount of balance between fun and competition.

“One of the things I really loved about college club swimming was just how everyone was really relaxed and excited to have fun with their teammates,” Sibilia said. “All of the athletes in club swimming still love the sport and still want to compete.”

The addition of the new governing body will certainly add a level of seriousness to club swimming, allowing swimmers who do not want to completely give up the sport the opportunity to continue training and continue competing at a high level.


Photo Courtesy: CHSAA

Sibilia described the atmosphere at Nationals as a “busy, fun three days. There’s music and laughter, but when the swimmers step on the blocks, it is time to race.”

As with all championship meets, there are sure to be intense rivalries, lightning fast swimming, and loud, battle cries from the stands. College club swimming is truly the  sport in its purest form: athletes competing not for money or rewards, but for a never-ending love for the sport. CCS and U.S. Masters are allowing swimmers to never have to truly say goodbye to the sport they love, and allowing them to continue competing at a high level.

The meet will consist of a timed finals session on Friday, with prelims and finals on Saturday and Sunday. More information can be found here, including a link to a live webcast of the meet.

“We are so excited to host everyone here for the largest meet yet,” Sibilia said. “It is sure to be an awesome three days!”

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