The 2021 DIII NCAA Swimming & Diving Championships will be hosted by Pacific Lutheran University in Federal Way, Washington, SwimSwam has confirmed.
Scheduled to take place March 17-21, 2021, at the Weyerhaeuser King County Aquatic Center, the meet marks the first time the Division III championship will take place on the West Coast since it began in 1975. Previously, Federal Way has hosted Olympic Trials for diving, NCAA championships, PAC-12 conference championships, U.S. national events, and Speedo Junior Nationals.
The cost of funding air travel for the approximately 95 percent of teams that require it was a factor in the decision, a member of the Division III NCAA Committee told SwimSwam. In recent history, the meet has been held in Indianapolis, Shenandoah (TX), and Greensboro (NC). Both the 2019 and 2020 editions will take place in Greensboro.
Back in April, the Annual Committee Report also stated that DIII had held preliminary discussions regarding the possibility of splitting future championships by gender due to concern about the “limited number of hosts/facilities that are capable and interested in hosting an event of this size,” which would only worsen with the potential of expanding the men’s entry cap (the number of female invitees increased by about 25 percent in 2018). Through 2021, at least, both genders will attend a single meet.
“I don’t think we want to go there yet,” the committee member said, citing the challenges of finding facilities that are not only of the appropriate capacity but also hosts that are willing to give up their pools for a week. “Right now it’s our preference that we would keep the meet together as we’ve been doing. That’s Plan A. But we have to do the plus/minus of every possibility.”