Cedar Crest College Adds New NCAA Swim Team
Allentown, Pa. (Dec. 18, 2012)–Cedar Crest College has some of the best swimming facilities in the region at its Rodale Aquatic Center (RAC), complete with an eight-lane pool featuring Colorado touch pads and scoring equipment, a warm-up pool and locker rooms. Come winter 2013-14, the College will also have an intercollegiate swim team to call its own.
According to Lisa Goddard McGuirk, director of athletics, recreation and wellness at Cedar Crest College, adding an NCAA-sanctioned swim team is a big step forward for the athletics program. Recruiting for a head coach and swimmers is well underway, and the team will participate in exhibition meets during the spring 2013 semester.
"I am delighted that President (Carmen Twillie) Ambar, the College’s Rodale Aquatic Center (RAC), and the college administration fully supported our proposal to elevate the swim club to NCAA status," said McGuirk. "The addition of swimming will complement our current NCAA-sponsored sports, while providing a more well-rounded, collegiate athletics experience for our current students. It will also allow us to recruit a completely different group of potential student-athletes."
Working closely with RAC, the Cedar Crest swim team will benefit from traditional practice and meet times. Staff members at the aquatic center are excited to have a Cedar Crest and NCAA- sanctioned swim team based at their state-of-the-art facility.
"Attracting student athletes, who are typically high performers in their sport and academics, will infuse our student body with enthusiastic, spirited, team players who provide the Aquatic Center with its only missing piece," said RAC Director Susan Danish. "We have not had a swim team to represent Cedar Crest, and now is the time."
Although the current college affiliation with the Colonial States Athletic Conference (CSAC) does not sponsor swimming at the conference level, Cedar Crest will compete against some CSAC member institutions that do sponsor swimming. The athletic department is exploring conference options for 2013-14.
With the addition of swimming, the total of NCAA sponsored sports at Cedar Crest College in 2013-14 will be nine, the largest in school history. In addition, the cheerleading program will benefit from being elevated to Competition Squad status next academic year. Including a competitive equestrian team, the total of competitive teams in 2013-14 will total 11.
Students who have been keeping their love of swimming alive through the Cedar Crest College Swim Club are excited that the sport is rising to the level of others on campus.
"I am extremely excited that Cedar Crest will have a collegiate swim team, although I am sad that the change will occur after I graduate," said senior Sarah Haas, who serves as vice president of the Swim Club. "I have always loved the water and began swimming competitively at the age of seven. After eight years of swimming, I decided to play lacrosse instead but realized that I missed the sport that had been a part of my life for so long. Coming to Cedar Crest gave me that opportunity to begin swimming again."