Florida Swimming Wins Two More National Championships

Full results and standings

If you thought the number of college swim teams had shrunk over the  last year, with the ever-growing list of cut programs like Duquesne, then you would be wrong. In fact, in the 2009-2010 season, there were at least 25 new swimming programs created, at the club level.

The American Swimming Association’s University League has shown tremendous growth from 43 teams last season to 68 this year, and expects to continue to grow. They have taken advantage of a model that has been successful with many other NCAA-sponsored sports that have struggled to gain wide-spread varsity status (or have suffered  wide-spread varsity cuts), like water polo, lacrosse and men’s volleyball.

This past weekend, ASA-U held their 6th National Championship meet at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia. They brought with them a host of unique events and innovations to make this more than just another swim meet.

In total, there were 10 ASA-U National Records broken, and lots of fast swimming. The Florida Gators took home the men’s title, with James  Mason winning the women’s crown. Those two teams also went 1-2 in the overall combined team score, with Florida taking first at 583 points and JMU second at 440 points.

Some of the more impressive times on the weekend included Oregon’s Ben Metcalfe winning the 100 breaststroke in a NR of  57.25, Florida’s Skylar Stroman going a 51.54 in the 100 backstroke, and Lisa Shelps of Uconn went an 11.46 in the women’s 25 freestyle.

Yep, 25 freestyle. That’s one of the exciting changes that the ASA has made to the typical meet schedule- in addition to 50’s, 100’s, and 200’s of every stroke, they have added a 25 yard distance. Although these races won’t always determine the best swimmer (although Shelps was, as she won the 50 freestyle and set a new record in the  prelims of that  race at 24.63, too), they certainly make for high drama. The starts become ultimately crucial, and it’s just an all out, full-bore throwdown for 10 seconds of purely powerful sprinting. This is the type of event that is absolutely perfect for the collegiate club swimmer, who doesn’t have the same amount of time and resources that varsity athletes are able to dedicate to training.

The medley relays gave swimmers the opportunity to strategize mental mind-games against their competition, by allowing teams to reorder the strokes into any order they wanted. Backstrokers were given the option of diving off of the blocks, and those who took advantage broke records. Flipturns were allowed in all strokes, which was most frequently used in butterfly.

The accomplishment that the ASA-U is most proud of is the fact that they have never allowed polyurethane suits.

The ASA-U was foundedby four original teams, including Northeastern, which is the only club to compete at all six National Championships.

Men’s Top 6
1. Florida 325.5
2. Penn State 253
3. James Madison 180
4. Connecticut 172
5. Oregon 169
6. Kansas 105

Women’s Top 6
1. James Madison 260
2. Florida 257.5
3. Connecticut 221.5
4. North Carolina 186
5. Penn State 177.5
6. Metro State 170

Combined Top 6
1. Florida 583
2. James Madison 440
3. Penn State 440.5
4. Connecticut 393.5
5. North Carolina 258
6. Metro State 241

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About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder of SwimSwam.com. He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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