Pac-12 Will Take 2021 Men’s & Women’s Swimming Championships to Houston

The 2021 Pac-12 conference is planning to host their men’s and women’s swimming championships at the University of Houston in 2021. The original and regular host, the King County Aquatic Center in Federal Way, Washington, has remained closed, as it has been since last March.

The diving championships will be held in Arizona.

Most of the conference’s home pools are outdoor facilities, and the conference in the last few years has shown a strong preference to host the meet indoors, because of the better control over weather.

Of course, the last time Houston hosted a Division I conference championship meet, even the indoor facility was impacted by what was happening outside – a nearby water main break dramatically impacted the 2020 WAC Championships and turned the meet into a timed finals event.

The University of Houston has a 50-meter pool with two bulkheads, able to split the facility into 3 courses. The facility has off-deck spectator capacity for 1,000 people.

Some of the final details, including exact dates and whether spectators are allowed, are still being ironed out, sources tell SwimSwam. The University of Houston has allowed limited spectators to attend home sporting events this season, though the Pac-12 expanded its ban on spectators at Pac-12 campus events beyond the original expiration of January 1.

That policy, though, has allowed student-athlete families to attend sporting events when in compliance with NCAA guidelines and local public health and campus authorities.

The current leading plan would have the men’s meet follow immediately after the women’s meet, rather than the traditional consecutive-weekends. That decision is expected to be shored up this week.

The Pac-12 previously was deep in talks to host the meet in San Antonio, but that wound up falling through late in the process.

The Houston area is currently in the midst of a spike of coronavirus cases, though there are some indications that some parts of the city have begun to turn the tide. Over the last week, Houston is averaging 56 new daily coronavirus cases per 100,000 population over the last week. While that’s mid-pack by Texas’ standards, it is well above the United States average of 44 cases/100,000 per day.

The 2020 Pac-12 Men’s Championships was among the last collegiate meets in the country to happen before national coronavirus quarantines began to set in. The Cal men, who are also the defending NCAA Champions, won the most recent title with 856 points – a whopping 278 points ahead of runners-up Arizona.

The women’s meet, a week earlier, was also won by the defending NCAA Champions, Stanford. The Cardinal women also won by a big margin, scoring 1,598 points – 373.5 points ahead of runners-up Cal.

Leave a Reply

Notify of
newest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
4 months ago

Certainty. Final details subject to safety for the athletes. That is the certainty in the best interest of all athletic competition.

Troll Longhorn
Reply to  BlueSky75
4 months ago

Wear two masks and you’ll be alright.

Double bagger
Reply to  Troll Longhorn
4 months ago

Maybe even three

4 months ago

Best swimming conference by far!

Texas A&M Swim Fan
Reply to  Bookit
4 months ago

No way👎. SEC wins this argument hands down👍

Reply to  Texas A&M Swim Fan
4 months ago

I agree. The SEC is the best swimming conference in the country because of depth. If they had a challenge meet like the ACC and BIG did a couple years ago (and many folks thought the ACC would win but the BIG won by a ton) you would see the SEC win against any other conference.

Reply to  Bookit
4 months ago

This gives Big 12 a good argument for not being the weakest swimming conference anymore. At least they can host their own championships…..

Reply to  Bookit
4 months ago

Big Ten is pretty legit when it comes to swimming and diving also. Host their own championships and have some of the finest facilities in the nation.

4 months ago

Slightly off-topic, but does anyone know if UH has ever fielded a men’s team?

olde coach
Reply to  Braden Keith
4 months ago

Had a real good sprinter Per Ling in the 70’s. Landing spot for some Portland, Maine swimmers in the early 60’s. Does that now classify as “ancient History”?

Victor Ivry
Reply to  olde coach
4 months ago

Women’s and Men’s swim team were coached by Phil Hansel. After the 1976 Olympics, Houston picked up an abundance of international swimmers from Sweden, England, Canada, South Africa, and Australia.

Reply to  Thezwimmer
4 months ago

Ang Peng Siong was a world class sprinter from Singapore who held the #1 world ranking and swam for Phil Hansel at Houston. Ang won the 50 free NCAA title in 1983. He was also 2x 50 free US Champion and won the B final the 100m free in the 84 Olympics (there was no 50). UH tied with Michigan for 16th in 83.

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder of 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, …

Read More »