‘A Party With a Purpose’: Howard Announces ‘Battle of the Burr II’ vs. Georgetown

The biggest swim meet in HBCU history is back for its second edition on Saturday, October 7, with tickets for “Battle at the Burr II” set to go on sale Tuesday.

Howard is once again hosting Washington D.C. rival Georgetown at Burr Gymnasium, which attracted 1,200 fans at the inaugural “Battle at the Burr” event last October. The dual meet made waves for its unmatched level of energy, between a poolside DJ, a dance troupe that managed to successfully perform without slipping, and overflow seating in the basketball gym, where another DJ awaited along with enormous TV screens broadcasting special-guest commentary.

The event sold out 2,000 tickets, but attendance ultimately was less than expected due to a storm coming up the East Coast that weekend. Still, it was a huge success — and this year’s follow-up effort could be even bigger after the Bison men captured their first Northeast Conference title in 34 years this past February. It was also the first season in program history where both the men and women’s squads finished with winning records.

The official press release this year promises “double the fanfare and double the fun, complete with a DJ, dancers, celebrity appearances and a few surprises that the team does not want to give away.” It’s a self-proclaimed “party with a purpose,” raising funds that should help the Bison replace outdated equipment and fund student scholarships.

“We’re here to showcase our teams, but also put competitive swimming and diving on the map,” said Howard head coach Nicholas Askew, who was inducted into the university’s Athletics Hall of Fame on the night before the inaugural event last year. Georgetown won both of the matchups in 2022, (men 113-111, women 148-76), but Askew said the result solidified Howard’s mentality moving forward that “if we have a lane, we have a chance.”

In 2016, Howard became the last remaining HBCU school with a swim program after North Carolina A&T disbanded its team. Askew is one of only four Black coaches in men’s swimming and five in women’s swimming.

Like the Howard men, the Georgetown men also won a conference title in 2023, taking home their second Big East crown in a row by just 11 points ahead of Xavier. The Oct. 7 showdown marks the first dual meet of the season for both schools.

Tickets for “Battle at the Burr II” can be purchased starting Tuesday at https://howard.universitytickets.com.

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Happy Slappy
3 months ago

Askew is a genius.

Reply to  Happy Slappy
3 months ago

All while *also* coaching the tennis team.

Hoya Saxa
3 months ago

Footage from the meet last year looked amazing. Glad they’re running it back! Great for the sport.

3 months ago

Will there be any way to stream this
There are probably a lot of us who would watch

Sweet Sweet Peter Rosen
3 months ago

Askew should be on short list for coach of year. Doing better than a lot of coaches at “great” swim schools

Comfy Pants
Reply to  Sweet Sweet Peter Rosen
3 months ago

Yes!! We streamed it last year & enjoyed it immensely!

Reply to  Sweet Sweet Peter Rosen
3 months ago

Looks like (as of now) 5 coaches on the hot seat downvoted this. So it was Meehan which other 4????

3 months ago

nothing better than an amped up dual meet

Sunday Morning Grind
3 months ago

Sounds awesome. Hope other programs can find this model successful as well

Army Dad
Reply to  Sunday Morning Grind
3 months ago

Army-Navy programs tried this year but it was a horribly run meet that had more things wrong than I could count- even as a father to a freshman in the program… it was hard to watch.

Fifth year, hanging on for dear life
Reply to  Army Dad
3 months ago

They weren’t “trying” it, that is always the mid season meet for those teams. This year was admittedly a nightmare but it is typically a fantastic meet. Best of luck to your child though, it’s a fantastic tradition and usually one of the best meets to watch in swimming because of the passion from both sides

About Riley Overend

Riley is an associate editor interested in the stories taking place outside of the pool just as much as the drama between the lane lines. A 2019 graduate of Boston College, he arrived at SwimSwam in April of 2022 after three years as a sports reporter and sports editor at newspapers …

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