The Wisconsin Badgers christened their brand-new aquatics facility this week, with video of the sparkling 50-meter pool on Instagram.
The University of Wisconsin has been working on the facility for some time, with delays this summer related to the coronavirus pandemic. The new pool is part of the Nicholas Recreation Center, or ‘the Nick’, replacing the school’s old 50-meter training pool. Wisconsin previously held its meets in the 56-year-old UW Natatorium, an 8-lane, 25-yard pool with limited spectator seating.
The new pool looks like quite an upgrade. Wisconsin posted video of its swimmers taking in the new facility during their first masked and socially-distanced practice there this week:
“This has been a long time coming,” head coach Yuri Suguiyama says in the video. “Given everything we’re going through right now, this is just such a beam of light for our program. What an awesome day, a historic day… we couldn’t be happier to be here.”
The new facility has a separate diving well with platforms, as well as spectator seating. The old facility only had diving platforms up to the 5-meter level and not the 10-meter version.
The Wisconsin men were 4th among 10 programs at last year’s Big Ten Championships, and the Badger women were 5th out of 13 programs.
In other Wisconsin-related news, the program still doesn’t have a new diving coach to announce. The athletic department says that due to the hiring freeze as well as the COVID-19 pandemic, the diving position remains open. The position has been open since Landon Marzullo left after last season when his wife got a new job in another part of the country.