2015 Men’s NCAA Swimming and Diving Championship Competition Pool Breakdown

by SwimSwam 14

March 23rd, 2015 College, Industry, News

The 2015 Division I Men’s NCAA Swimming and Diving Championships will be held for the first time at the University of Iowa Campus Recreation and Wellness Center (CRWC).

University of Iowa pool, courtesy of COUNSILMAN-HUNSAKERThe competition pool boasts 13,000 SF of water and enough off-deck permanent seating for 1,200 spectators, with the capability for additional off-deck temporary seating expansion for major competitions. In addition, the deck has enough space to host over 1,000 athletes. There are some special design features of this natatorium that will surely provide a great environment for one of the world’s fastest swim meets.

The pool at Iowa is unique as the main short course competition course is “clean.” This feature was the brainchild of the current Hawkeyes Men’s and Women’s Head Coach Marc Long. To provide a “clean” aesthetic, the main 25-yard racing course has all lane markings removed from the bottom of the pool. This “clean” racing course will make turning at the bulkhead easier for all athletes, especially for those sprinters looking to break 19 seconds. This also creates a more visually appealing experience for spectators.

Built primarily as a collegiate competition venue, the spectator seating was designed to allow for great viewing of the short course pool. The spectator seating does span the length of the 50-meter swimming pool, but the majority of the seating is in a stadium format directly over the main 25-yard racing course. This will allow most fans to have a great view of the racing course and should provide a loud atmosphere for some fast swimming.

“Hosting the NCAA Championship is an honor and a privilege. We talked at length during the design process about attracting this meet. The facility, staff, university, and community are well prepared to provide an elite environment. The pool is built for speed and elite performances and we’re looking forward to a fast and exciting competition.”

– University of Iowa Head Coach Marc Long.

The dive pool is 4,400 SF of warmer water. The tiled Tiger Hawk logo at the bottom of the pool is a signature of this facility. As well as having a 1, 3, 5, 7.5, and 10-meter diving synchro width platform; this area also boasts an underwater Sparger system that creates a soft water landing for divers practicing new dives which can eliminate injuries.

University of Iowa pool, courtesy of COUNSILMAN-HUNSAKER

The CRWC also features a 4,100 SF recreational pool with a full video board. During past meets at the CRWC, the recreational pool video board streamed the meet live for swimmers hanging out in this area. As this area is right off of the pool deck, the recreational pool allows for some additional warm-up and warm-down space in a pool that is warmer than the 80 degree competition pool.

The recreational area also contains a 310 SF recreational spa. Swimmers don’t get too excited! The staff at the CRWC will transform this typically warm-water spa into a very large cold water recovery spa that is larger than the spas found across campus at the Jacobson Football Operations Buildings. No more need to fill your bath-tub with hotel ice in between sessions!

If somehow a swimmer needs more space, they can find their way across campus to the three additional bodies of water at the Football Operations Building. There you will find a 550 SF therapy pool with an underwater treadmill, a 100 SF hot plunge hydrotherapy spa, and a 150 SF cold plunge hydrotherapy spa made for a different kind of athlete.

U of Iowa Football spas

In between sessions in Iowa City? Hit up one of CH’s favorites spots… The Vine Tavern and Eatery. (Probably not a good spot for swimmers to fuel up for finals.) Iowa Alumni, Counsilman-Hunsaker Chairman of the Board, and wing enthusiast, Doug Cook, makes sure to stop by and get a round of super-hot wings every time he is in town.


Counsilman/Hunsaker Logo - mark only - 300x300The history of Counsilman-Hunsaker is valuable in the context and the confidence it provides. Over the past 45 years, we’ve led the industry by completing more than 1,000 national and international aquatic projects of every size and complexity. In fact, many of the innovations that are now standard in the industry were conceived by our team.

Counsilman-Hunsaker believes that people of all ages are changed for the better through aquatic experiences and that our services reach beyond just solving design, or engineering or facility operational challenges. Our mission is to create aquatic experiences that transform people and communities, which supports our mantra of “Aquatics for Life”. And when we say “Aquatics for Life” we’re talking about the lives of humans we serve through every decision from conception, to the detail of daily operations. By focusing and serving the human experience, our full circle approach to everything we do allows us to be your guide every step of the way from facility audits, to program and design, thru facility creation and day to day operations. 

Along the way, we’ve developed an international reputation for innovation and integrity, as people who are passionate about what they do and who do it exceptionally well. Today, our firm consists of an integrated team of designers, engineers and operational specialists with incomparable aquatic industry experience.









 Swimming News courtesy of Counsilman-Hunsaker, a SwimSwam partner.

Leave a Reply

6 Comment threads
8 Thread replies
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
10 Comment authors
newest oldest most voted

Observations after attending Big Tens – Amazing pool, great for spectators – that is if you get a seat. There is very limited spectator seating. It will be extremely loud and great to watch on TV!


Please explain the “clean” aesthetic in more detail. How does eliminating the lane lines at the bottom help? Also, why wasn’t the seating expanded beyond 1200? How many people couldn’t get tickets to this NCAAs?

Derek Mead

From my understanding, it means there are only black lines on the bottom for the 25 yard competition pool. Meaning, there aren’t lines that go side to side like if you practiced the width of the pool. A normal 50m has lines going in perpendicular directions, looking like a checkerboard. In the pictures, this one has that on half of the pool, but not the half where SCY competition is held.

That is correct. Also, there are not 25 M course T’s that one swimmers can view from underneath the bulkhead.

I spoke too soon on this one. Iowa still has a 25 M course and still has t’s under the bulkhead. However, as mentioned by other comments, when laying out a pool with cross-courses, often times the cross course markers are fairly close to the turning t’s.


This means that the lane lines at the bottom of the pool going across the width of the pool have been removed. Only the longitudinal lines, going the length of the pool, are left. It gives the pool bottom a much less cluttered appearance, and there is a decreased likelihood of someone confusing the width-wise lines for the “T” marks at the turns. Think IUPUI, King County or The University of Texas. I saw the Iowa pool as it was nearing completion, and I thought this feature was a great innovation.


The video board in the recreation pool is a nice addition. That way you can relax and warm up in there without having to constantly be checking what heat they are on. A genius idea. I also don’t understand the clean aesthetic. Is that just saying that there aren’t lines going across the width of the pool as well?

Want to take your swimfandom to the next level?

Subscribe to SwimSwam Magazine!