Augustana University in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, has announced another expansion of its aquatics program with plans to add men’s swimming & diving, along with the NCAA emerging sport of women’s acrobatics and tumbling, for the 2021-2022 school year. This will bring the NCAA Division II school’s* athletics offerings to 21 sports.
Editor’s Note: not to be confused with Division III Augustana College in Illinois.
“A key part of our strategic plan, Viking Bold: The Journey to 2030, is to provide new opportunities for students that also help fuel enrollment growth,” Augustana University President Stephanie Herseth Sandlin said. “These two sport additions do just that, and we’re excited about the student-athletes these programs will attract as we continue building momentum here at Augustana.”
Earlier this month, Augustana announced that it would begin a diving program for the 2021-2022 season, and now they have completed the trifecta with men’s swimming.
The men’s program will be led by current women’s team head coach LIndsie Micko, who founded the program in 2015.
Last season was the conclusion of the program’s first full four-year competition cycle. During that time, the Vikings have had 2 swimmers earn 3 All-America Honors. Last season, junior Taylor Beagle was named the NSIC Swimmer of the Year and of the championship, and freshman Ruth Huffman was named the conference’s Freshman of the Year.
The Augustana women finished 4th out of 8 teams at last year’s NSIC Championship, behind champions St. Cloud State University.
The Augustana men will be the only Division II men’s program in the state of South Dakota and one of only 3 total NCAA programs joining the University of South Dakota and South Dakota State. Neighboring North Dakota has no men’s NCAA programs after North Dakota cut their team in 2017.
Only one other member of the Northern Sun conference sponsors men’s swimming, St. Cloud State, and they compete in the GLIAC conference. The GLIAC, one of the faster conferences in D2 swimming, had 6 men’s team compete at last year’s conference championship meet, led by Grand Valley State University in Michigan.
Augstana’s campus is home to the Elmen Center Swimming Pool, which is a 6-lane, 25-yard pool.