Swimming and Diving joins new conference

Brian Kimmes

Brian Kimmes

The SDSU Swimming and Diving team joined the Mid-Continent Conference as an associate member for swimming and diving. The conference commissioner made the official announcement Nov. 3, after an unanimous vote by the Mid-Continent Conference Presidents Council and Joint Council.

The team will compete in the conference immediately. The team and individuals are eligible this season for conference awards, including swimmer and diver of the week. The Jacks have been competing as an independent since the move to Division I in 2004.

Eastern Illinois is joining the conference along with the Jacks. Other teams in the conference include Centenary College of Louisiana, Chicago University, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, University of Missouri-Kansas City, Oakland University, Oral Roberts University, Southern Utah University, Valparaiso University and Western Illinois University.

“This announcement is great news for SDSU Swimming and Diving. A very much appreciated ‘thank you’ goes out to the Mid-Continent Conference for allowing us to join such a great conference as an associate member, and for the opportunity to immediately be eligible for conference athletic and academic awards, including Athlete of the Week, as well as immediate eligibility for individual and team championships at the end of the season. We are excited for the opportunity to swim and dive in some of the finest natatoriums in the country. We hope to be a competitive member, and look forward to building relationships with the other teams in the conference,” said Head Coach Brad Erickson.

The Jacks will be facing many of the teams for the first time this season. Prior to this year, the team has only swum against Oakland University. Earlier this season, the Jacks swam against Valparaiso University.

Having a conference has benefits to the swim team.

“The biggest thing for us is it gives us a championship meet at the end of the season,” said Erickson.

“It will be really beneficial to the athletes,” he added.

Being eligible for awards like swimmer and diver of the week, competing for a conference title and being eligible for all-academic conference honors will benefit the team, said Erickson.

Another benefit will be recruiting athletes. Erickson said that the move to Division I is a large recruiting tool, but having a conference will help.