Colorado wins ECC Championships
By Emily Sampl//Correspondent
Last weekend, more than 1,000 collegiate club swimmers descended upon the Georgia Tech Aquatic Center for the 2013 East Coast Collegiate Swim and Dive National Championships, and for the third straight year, the University of Colorado-Boulder ran away with the national championship trophy.
Highlighted by 20 meet records in three days of racing, the meet featured more than 60 club teams from across the country, some of which were former varsity squads before being cut. Colorado topped the field with 2,004 points in the overall team standings, with the University of Florida in second (1,582) and the University of Missouri in third (963). For the first time in its three years at the meet, CU also swept both the men’s and women’s trophies. The race for the men’s title came down to the final day, with CU eventually prevailing over Florida, 931-883.
The Buffs took down three of the 20 meet records, with stellar swims from the women’s 800 free relay (8:01.28), Mattie Nobles (women’s 400 IM, 4:45.06) and Kate Booth (women’s 200 free, 1:57.42). Florida swimmers claimed nine meet records, with two-time Iceland Olympian Sarah Bateman throwing down impressive times in all five of her individual events: 50 fly (24.56), 50 free (22.80), 50 back (25.90), 50 breast (29.31) and 100 IM (55.93). In addition, Bateman anchored three of Florida’s record-setting relays (400 medley, 4:03.31; 400 free, 3:38.34; 200 medley, 1:50.90).
Despite bringing a small contingent of swimmers and divers to the meet, Darton State College definitely made a statement. Anna Macht took home the women’s high point award after winning four events and setting a meet record in the 100 breast (1:05.45). Teammate TJ Bland put on a clinic in the men’s breaststroke events, winning the 50 in 25.33 and 100 in 54.60, a meet record. Bland also won the men’s 100 IM in 51.55, just missing the meet record of 51.23 set last year. Crawford Berry also established new meet records in both the men’s 1-meter (594.55) and 3-meter (553.35) diving events.
For the first time in the meet’s 10-year history, the event was sanctioned by United States Masters Swimming and allowed only FINA-approved suits. It was a fun-filled weekend of intense, spirited competition between swimmers who compete without scholarships, and in some cases without a coach, for the love of swimming. Congrats to all of the competitors and especially my Buffs, on a fantastic weekend!