Division I George Washington University has reinstated its diving program, effective for the 2014-2015 season (after this upcoming one). This move should be of great relief to GMU’s swimmers: their women placed 5th at the Atlantic 10 Championships (out of 11) and their men placed 4th (out of 7), but with the notable exception of St. Louis, almost all of the spots in the diving finals were occupied by teams that finished higher than the Colonials.
It is unlikely that diving points in 2013 would have immediately moved the team up the rankings, but it is equally unlikely that they would ever hope to compete for a conference title without diving.
See the full press release, with the details, below.
WASHINGTON – The George Washington University Department of Athletics and Recreation will reinstate its men’s and women’s diving and track programs to its varsity sports program effective for the 2014-15 academic year.
“The reinstatement of diving and track directly speaks to one of the initiatives we laid out in our strategic plan, and that is athletic achievement,” said Director of Athletics and Recreation Patrick Nero. “Our primary athletic goal is to compete at the highest levels in our conference and nationally. These moves will help to ensure that our student-athletes and coaches are given every opportunity and available resource to succeed in competition.”
“We are currently competing in the Atlantic 10 sport of Swimming & Diving, but are doing so without a diving program,” said men’s and women’s Head Swimming Coach Dan Rhinehart. “The reinstatement of diving will augment our positioning in the championships as we will no longer be forfeiting points in the diving events which factor into the championship standings.”
Currently, five of seven men’s programs in the conference compete with a diving program, while seven of 11 women’s teams have diving.
The reinstatement of indoor and outdoor track to GW Athletics’ sport offerings will increase the university’s varsity, intercollegiate athletics teams to 27 and will also serve to boost a cross country program on the precipice of success.
“Runners want to run year round,” noted men’s and women’s Head Cross Country Coach Terry Weir, who will assume additional responsibilities as head track coach. “By fielding an indoor and outdoor track team that will compete in the winter and spring seasons, not only are we giving our student-athletes additional opportunities for achievement, but we’re aiding our training and recruiting efforts in cross country by giving our student-athletes the ability to compete in Atlantic 10 and NCAA championships year around.”
In 2012-13, 11 of the 13 Atlantic 10 schools competed in indoor and outdoor track.