The Great Lakes Valley Conference (GLVC) will increase its sports sponsorship from 18 to 20 with the inclusion of men's and women's swimming and diving beginning in 2013-14, it was announced today by the conference office. In addition, the first-ever GLVC Men's and Women's Swimming & Diving Championships will take place exactly one year from today, Feb. 12-15, 2014, at Lake Central High School in St. John, Ind.
The addition of the conference's 19th and 20th sports was formally approved on June 7, 2012 by the GLVC Council of Presidents.
Seven men's teams and seven women's squads representing eight member institutions will vie for the 2014 GLVC Championship next February. Five GLVC schools currently sponsor both men's and women's swimming and diving, including Bellarmine, Drury, Indianapolis, Lewis, and William Jewell, while Truman State will field both its men's and women's programs as a full-time GLVC member in 2013-14. In addition, Missouri S&T currently fields a men's squad and Maryville will begin its inaugural women's swimming season next year.
“The addition of men's and women's swimming and diving to the GLVC gives us instant credibility as one of the nation's top swimming conferences, as our members have earned numerous national championships and top-10 rankings,” said GLVC Commissioner Jim Naumovich. “Most importantly though, our members are now able to bring their swimming programs under our umbrella and compete against one another for the right to be GLVC Champion.”
Bellarmine, Drury and Missouri S&T currently compete in the New South Intercollegiate Conference, while Indianapolis and Lewis have been members of the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, and Truman State and William Jewell are associated with the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference.
The Drury men have captured the last eight NCAA Division II National Championships and 10 total since coming on board as a Division II member in 1994, following nine national titles at the NAIA level. The Panthers have won eight NCAA crowns on the women's side, including a recent three-peat from 2009-11. In fact, the Drury women have not placed out of the top-three finishers since classifying as a Division II member in 1994. When Drury has not won the women's national title, it has often been Truman State picking up the hardware. The Bulldogs own seven national championships as a team, having most recently won in 2008 following a streak of six-straight from 2001-06.
On the heels of the New South Intercollegiate Conference Championships, which begin tomorrow, Drury's men's and women's programs are ranked No. 1 in the country by the College Swimming Coaches Association of America (CSCAA). Missouri S&T is slotted sixth on the men's side, while both the Indianapolis men's and women's teams are rated eighth.
With the New South Intercollegiate Conference Championship still to be contested, the GLVC already has a number of decorated swimmers set to enter the league. This past week, Lewis' Bryan Wiener and Indianapolis' Katy Sonksen swept the GLIAC Freshman of the Year awards, while the Greyhounds' Gary Kinkead was tabbed as the GLIAC's co-Coach of the Year. In the NSIC, Truman junior Casey Jepsen was named the women's Swimmer of the Year and teammate Brynn Guardado was honored as Freshman of the Year.
Lewis University is a Catholic university offering distinctive undergraduate and graduate programs to more than 6,500 traditional and adult students. Lewis offers multiple campus locations, online degree programs, and a variety of formats that provide accessibility and convenience to a growing student population. Sponsored by the De La Salle Christian Brothers, Lewis prepares intellectually engaged, ethically grounded, globally connected, and socially responsible graduates. The seventh largest private not-for-profit university in Illinois, Lewis has been nationally recognized by The Princeton Review and U.S. News & World Report.
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