ATLANTA (4/5/11) – The University of Colorado swimming and diving team are champions of the ECC Club Swimming Nationals.
The Buffaloes took home the overall title on Sunday at the Georgia Tech Aquatic Center with 1,270.50 points, blowing away second place Florida, who finished with 744.50 points. CU’s women’s team finished first with 720.50 points while the men finished second with 550, 19 points behind first place Rhode Island.
“This was our toughest win yet,” said CU junior and team president Bruce Deakyne, who finished with gold medals in the men’s 500 yard and 1000 yard freestyle events. “With varsity programs being cut across the country, club swimming is getting faster every year. Our men and women broke 17 team records, won 14 events and set 11 meet records. I’m excited for next season and hope we can continue our success.”
Colorado’s championship is their fifth in six years, and the Buffs have won a title every year in which they have competed in that time span.
The ECC Club Swimming Nationals was the largest club swimming meet ever as 46 teams and over 1,000 athletes from schools across the country attended the three day event. Colorado sent their largest championship team ever to meet, bringing 49 swimmers and one diver.
On Sunday, Colorado’s men’s team was down by three points entering the final event, the 100 yard individual medley, but the Buffs weren’t able to come from behind as Rhode Island’s Alex Macdonald won the event and secured the men’s title for the Rams.
However, the final day of competition wasn’t a disappointment for the CU men as senior Steve Nester defeated Rhode Island’s Joe Sagginario in a thrilling race in the 200 yard freestyle. Nester defeated Sagginario by 22 hundredths of a second to win gold and set a new meet record of 1:43.23.
The CU women’s team dominated the relay events at the meet as they won every race except for the last one, the 4x50 yard medley relay, in which James Madison pulled out the victory on Sunday.
Senior Lauren Fowler led the Colorado women on the last day with a good showing in the 50 yard backstroke, in which she finished third, and the 100 yard individual medley, in which she finished second by 13 hundredths of a second to Tennessee’s Rachel Leong.
However, Fowler’s weekend wasn’t a disappointment as she brings home three gold medals from the meet. Fowler won the 200 yard backstroke on Friday and the 100 yard backstroke and 200 yard individual medley on Saturday.
The CU women picked up three more individual victories over the weekend as senior Ashley Scott won the 100 yard freestyle, freshman Melanie Rogers won the 50 yard freestyle after breaking the meet record twice (once in the preliminary’s and again in the finals) and Diedra Gustafson won the one meter springboard in diving. This is the first year that diving was included in the championship venue.
Colorado’s championship victory at the ECC’s once again ends another successful season that featured seven meets against NCAA, NAIA and club teams. The Buffaloes will look to make it six championships in seven years in 2012.
For complete meet results, go to http://www.gtswimclub.com/ecc-results.php.
Friday Apr. 1 ECC news release: http://www.swimmingworldmagazine.com/lane9/news/26914.asp?q=East-Coast-Club-Championships:-Colorado-Leads-Both-Men's,-Women's-Team-Races
Saturday Apr. 2 ECC news release: http://www.swimmingworldmagazine.com/lane9/news/26921.asp?q=East-Coast-Club-Championships:-Colorado-Remains-in-Lead-of-Men's,-Women's-Team-Races
Sunday Apr. 3 ECC news release: http://www.swimmingworldmagazine.com/lane9/news/26927.asp?q=East-Coast-Club-Championships:-Colorado-Women,-Rhode-Island-Men-Win-Team-Titles
CU Swimming and Diving website: http://www.swimdivecolorado.org/