The USA vs. College Challenge swim meet won’t take place in 2018 after happening for two consecutive years, CSCAA Executive Director Joel Shinofield told SwimSwam Saturday.
“The College Challenge is not on the schedule this year,” Shinofield confirmed via email. “The B1G is hosting the ACC in that timeframe, but it is not a USA Swimming or CSCAA event.” The meet in reference is the ACC/Big Ten Challenge, which is scheduled for November 10th and 11th at Purdue.
The 2018 College Challenge is listed on USA Swimming’s lastest quad plan as taking place that same weekend, though no college conference had been specified.
The inaugural version of the meet was held in Indianapolis in 2016, and featured USA National Team members facing off against members of the Big Ten conference. The 2017 edition took place at the University of Southern California against representatives of the Pac-12.
Last year’s meet drew a decent crowd despite relatively steep ticket prices (adults tickets were listed at $32 per session then later discounted), and both the professional and college swimmers in attendance expressed their interest in holding this type of low-stakes, for-fun event more often. Pro swimmers also had a chance to earn some cash at the event, which paid out the same amount as the 2017 Arena Pro Swim Series for podium finishes.
Here’s a comparison of what was at stake for pro swimmers:
|COLLEGE CHALLENGE||2017 ARENA PSS||2018 TYR PSS||2017 WORLD CUP||2017 WORLDS|
Last year’s roster featured 29 USA National Team-ers (including some Junior National Team-ers) who competed in 13 short course individual races and four relays, including a mixed-gender one, against a star-studded Pac-12 team that included Katie Ledecky, Kathleen Baker, Andrew Seliskar, Justin Wright, and Dylan Carter, among many others.
There was speculation that the meet could next head to the SEC, but for the time being, it’s unclear whether we’ll see another event in the same format. We’ve reached out to USA Swimming for more information.