Colonial Athletic Association Postpones Swim and Dive Champs Until Late March

The Division I Colonial Athletic Association announced that it would be postponing its Swimming and Diving Championships, originally scheduled for late February, until late March.

Under the new schedule, the University of Delaware will now host the diving championships March 26th and 27th, while the swimming portion will occur March 29th-April 2nd at the Christiansburg Aquatic Center, where the meet has lately usually been held.

Obviously, the most notable thing about this change is that it means the conference championships will somewhat conflict with the NCAA Division Championships, which are scheduled for March 17th-20th (women’s) and March 24th-27th (men’s) in Greensboro, NC. The CAA diving championships will now take place during men’s NCAAs, but that’s likely to be a moot issue, as it doesn’t appear that any CAA male divers have qualified for NCAAs recently.

It does mean that any swimmers who were targeting the CAA Championships for NCAA invite times will now to have to find some other meets this month at which to earn their qualifying times. The only returning CAA swimmer who qualified for last year’s NCAA Championships, before they were canceled, is JMU’s Julianna Jones, who qualified in the 1650 with a 16:11 at the UNC Last Chance Meet after going 16:21 at the CAA Championships. JMU is currently swimming at the Cavalier Invite, and is also scheduled to swim at Delaware February 19th and take part in the UNC Last Chance Meet February 28th.

Only a handful of CAA swimmers have qualified for NCAAs over the last few years, most notably Towson’s Jack Saunderson, who scored in the 100 fly (15th) and the 200 fly (7th) in 2019, earning Towson 14 points and a 33rd-place finish in the team standings. Last year, William & Mary’s Colin Wright became W&M’s first male NCAA qualifier in decades, and was projected to score in the 50 free with his time of 18.98. JMU’s Bonnie Zhang and Northeastern’s Megan Clark appear to have been the CAA’s only two other qualifiers for the canceled 2020 NCAA championships.

The CAA joins several other mid-major conferences in moving their championships until later in the spring, while some all of the Power 5 conferences are currently planning on holding their championships in the next month, usually with some modifications.

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1 year ago

I assume the conferences doing this are looking for a more favorable Covid environment later in the spring? (And I think that’s a fair projection based on seasonality – especially the way Covid numbers have started dropping dramatically already – I’m just curious if that’s the stated rationale).

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