Tuesday, September 29, 2009

ASA U. Giving Varsity Swimmers Opportunities After Programs Cut

AUSTIN, TX – September 28, 2009 – The American Swimming Association University League is kicking off the school-year with four new teams: NC State, Davidson College, Rutgers, and the University of Rhode Island. Rutgers and Rhode Island formed student-run swim clubs after their varsity programs were eliminated. ASA U. provides swimmers at those institutions with an alternative avenue to compete for their schools.

James Madison University, which also saw its men’s varsity program eliminated, competed in last year’s National Championships for the first time. Former varsity swimmer Ethan Sherman said of the experience: “The cut of the program really hurt me personally. I had devoted my entire high school life to swimming and loved it. I looked at other schools initially after discovering my team was to be cut at the end of my freshmen year.” After competing for JMU at ASA U. Nationals, Sherman remarked, “it ended up being the best meet of my life and the 200 free relay victory over University of Florida by .01 of a second is the new highlight of my swimming career,” He also noted that he has decided to keep swimming as a direct result of his participation in ASA U.

ASA U. was founded in 2003, in response to the elimination of varsity swimming teams across the United States. Some of its clubs are former varsity teams that have been cut from their Universities

Monday, September 7, 2009

ASA U. Updates Suit Restrictions In Plain English

The American Swimming Association University League released updated suit restrictions for the 2009-2010 season via an email newsletter. Here is a copy of the latest suit guidelines as interpreted by the ASA U. for college club swimming:

The ASA has never allowed tech suits. In order to enforce our rules against performance-enhancing devices, we some changes to our suit-rules are now in place:

New this year:
Swim suits shall not cover a man’s body higher than the top of the pelvic bone or the belly button and shall not cover any part of the body below the top of the knee. Swim suits shall not cover a woman’s body outside the shoulder-joints or above the shoulder-line and shall not cover the any part of the body below mid-thigh.

The material of suits may consist only of cotton, lycra, nylon, polyester, and spandex. Any swimmer wishing to compete in a suit constructed of other materials must apply to ASA for permission in writing.

Provided by the American Swimming Association University League.

The ASA U. always seems to take a simple but rational approach to the speedsuit controversy. Last year, they created their own independent banned suit list and coverage restrictions. The ASA U. also has no prohibition on logos or ads on suits, so you never have to cover anything up.

This year, in keeping with the “textiles only” theme that the swimming world is required to embrace, the ASA U. decided to provide a list of approved construction materials rather than attempt to come up with a definition or testing procedure for “permeability.”

The ASA U. also avoided the problem faced by high schoolers this fall (who are having difficulty getting straight answers from officials about whether a particular suit will be allowed) by offering to answer specific questions about suit approval by email.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Back To Coaching, And Avoiding Swine Flu

Swine flu? That’s sooo 5 months ago.

Yesterday was the first day of practice for the Miami Redfins, the Miami University student club swim team, which meant the first day of diving practice as well! The team, which competes in the American Swimming Association University League (ASA.U), added a diving team last season – under the auspicious instruction of yours truly. And, although we competed in an un-sanctioned exhibition diving event at ASA.U Nationals last season, we are back this season to represent diving on the non-varsity college club participation-oriented intercollegiate level!

There’s nothing like being on campus at your Alma Mater during the school year – except when the Saturday headline of the Dayton Daily News read: 25 Miami students being treated for possible swine flu. Swine flu? Really?

The article states that the students tested positive for type A influenza, and that they are treating the cases as if they were H1N1 flu. None of the students were hospitalized, and symptoms were reported as mild. Cause for concern? Well people aren’t freaking out as much as they were in April, when the final stop of the World Series of Diving was met with empty bleachers in Mexico City. But I’m gonna keep a wary eye out for any sickly looking students…

Friday, May 29, 2009

ASA U. Diving Akin To “Watermelon Relays”?

I’ve been an avid supporter of the American Swimming Association University League (ASA U.) ever since I found myself coaching for–and competing with–the Miami University Redfins this past season. And I like to think I’m pretty open-minded when it comes to a league that is primarily participation oriented (although there were some pretty intense times turned out at this year’s nationals).

However, I got an email today from the ASA U. mailing list with a call for meet sanction requests. In order to increase participation while increasing the number of sanctioned meets in the season, it looks like the ASA U. league is encouraging alternative just-for-fun events by announcing that they will still recognize meets as sanctioned even if they contain these creative, unique events. The announcement reads:

Fun fun fun…

Want to host a meet with some CREATIVE, UNIQUE, events? We encourage it! You don’t have to worry about limiting your meets to the event lineup from Nationals. ASA U. will sanction your meet the way you want it, as long as the rules are followed. There is nothing in the rules that says you can’t run creative, unique events such as 25 relays, 4 x 100 IM relays, backstroke relays, watermelon relays, etc. at your meets.

Why does this ruffle my feathers? Because diving events were included in 2 sanctioned meets last season (that I know of), but are not part of the event lineup for Nationals. So if diving can be in a sanctioned meet but not Nationals – and a watermelon relay can be in a sanctioned meet but not Nationals: then diving and watermelon relays are similar in the eyes of the ASA University League.

Solution? Add diving to the Nationals event lineup. We have divers. And showing that you take diving seriously in the ASA U. will lead to more divers coming out to compete.

asa u diving

Monday, April 6, 2009

ASA U. Nationals Complete Results

american swimming association university leagueOXFORD, Ohio – At the 5th Annual ASA U. National Championships at Miami University this weekend, Colorado swept the team titles, more than doubling the points of their nearest competitors in the women’s and overall divisions.

The outcome was less than certain on the men’s side, with the University of Florida putting up a formidable challenge, besting Colorado in 3 relays: Florida won the 400 free and 400 medley relays and took 2nd to JMU’s record-setting 4 x 50 freestyle relay (1:26.23) with Colorado right behind in each event.

The Florida tag-team of Tobias Work and William Walters together broke 6 records with respective finishes of 1-2 in the 400 I.M., 2-1 in the 200 and 500 free, and 3-2 in the 200 I.M.; Work also came out on top in the 200 back and Walters won the gold in the 200 fly.

Metro State College of Denver had a trio of multiple-record-setters at the meet: Danny Keeling of Metro State College of Denver had a perfect individual meet performance of 5 national records and 5 wins in his 5 individual events: 25 fly (10.41), 100 I.M. (50.64), 100 fly (49.56), 50 fly (22.42), and 200 I.M. (1:50.86). Averill Sehler obliterated the 1650 freestyle record by almost 40 seconds with her time of 18:09.17, adding to her 200 back (2:12.94) and 200 free (1:57.08) records, while teammate Kendra Dobie set records in the 200 I.M. (2:15.69) and 200 breast (2:29.95).

Megan Priddy of ECU took the top spot in all five of her individual events, lowering the 25 backstroke record to 13 seconds flat and the 50 fly record to 26.33 seconds.

Steve Hilk from Penn State won the 25, 50, and 100 yard events to sweep the backstroke sprints, winning the 100 in a national-record time of 51.72.

Former Olympian Bryan Kim of Temple set three club swimming records: 50 breast (26.63), 200 breast (2:05.75) and 200 fly 1:52.76.

Emily Sampl of Colorado bested her own 50 breast record and and won the 25 breast in a performance that may have been the fastest ever at a club meet, but which couldn’t be certified due to a malfunction of the timing system in that event.

Mizzou club swimmer Moones Mellouli, brother of Olympic champion Ous Mellouli, medalled in four events, taking gold in the men’s 200 breaststroke.

The meet was the largest and fastest ever for the collegiate club swimming league, featuring over 400 swimmers from 25 clubs and boasted perhaps the largest event program of any swimming competition at any level, with fifty events including 25′s, 50′s, 100′s, and 200′s of each stroke; a 100, 200, and 400 I.M.; the 500 and 1650 free; and 4 relays.

The organization swelled to a membership of 56 clubs in its fifth year, up from 32 the year before, and divided into seven competitive regions, each of which held a regional championship meet this year that served as a qualifier for Nationals. Some clubs at Nationals included members of recently dropped varsity men’s programs from schools such as Ohio University and JMU, who both won relays in record times, giving the swimmers the opportunity to represent their schools once again.

This report provided by the American Swimming Association University League.

> View complete results provided by ASA
> Check out the Day 1 Recap on Swimming World

The diving exhibition event took place during the men’s and women’s 1650 yard Freestyle. With a small field, the divers competed in the 1-meter event. Brittany Catania (Miami Redfins) won the women’s unsanctioned event with a score of 200.68, and Eric Teske (Miami Redfins) took the men’s exhibition title with a score of 216.75.

Winning a participation medal is definitely reason enough to ham it up (see picture below). Although the inaugural ASA U. diving competition was unsanctioned, it’s good to see that interest is growing! Hopefully next year there will be enough divers to make this an official event at nationals.

asa u. national exhibition divers

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

ASA U. Regional Championships Set Bar for Nationals

andrew zinn photo courtesy UD athletic website www.bluehens.comI got the ASA U. Newsletter with updates to some records that were recently broken during the Mid-Atlantic and North Carolina Regional Championships.

Andrew Zinn of Delaware set new ASA U. national records with 21.09 in the 50 Free and 46.98 in the 100 Free on March 21st, 2009. Andrew swam on the varsity team at Delaware, where he was a senior last year. During his varsity career, Zinn won six CAA Swimmer of the Week awards, was named the 2006 team Most Valuable Player by the UD Alumni Association, was runner-up in the 50 Free (20.16) and 200 Free (1:40.10) in the CAA in 2008, and 2008 CAA champion in the 100 Free with a time of 44.42. The ASA U. gives Zinn an opportunity to continue competing (and excelling) in swimming.

Bryan Kim of Temple set records in the Men’s 50 Breast (26.95), 200 Back (1:57.84) and 400 I.M. (4:08.31) during the Regional Championships on March 21st. Breaking records is nothing new for Kim, however, because at last year’s National Championships he set an astonishing 5 records (100 I.M. 52.68, 25 breast 12.37, 100 free 47.13, 200 I.M. 1:52.61, and 100 breast 58.01) according to an ASA U. press release.

Megan Kane also set a record during the Regional Championships with a 2:20.54 in the 200 Breast. I couldn’t find any background on Megan without basically stalking her online, so that’s the reason I didn’t write very much about her–not because her record is any less impressive! She does swim for Penn State, and their club swimming website can be found here.

With the ASA U. ban of performance suits, it will be interesting to see how many records fall at Nationals this weekend!

Update: Psych sheet is posted for Nationals

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Video: Get Ready for Y Nats!

SwimNetwork.com posted this slideshow, promoting their coverage of 2009 YMCA Short Course National Championships, April 6th – 9th. I’m getting pumped! YMCA Swimming has really grown since I swam Y at KEY in Kettering, Ohio years (and years) ago. It’s a chance for Y swimmers to show that they can bring some serious speed in their own league. Olympic Gold Medalists Josh Davis and Mel Stewart will be on deck calling the races and covering the meet for SwimNetwork.com.


Kast-A-Way Swimwear will be in attendance at the meet, so come say ‘hello’ at our retail booth! I personally will not be attending the meet because I will be coaching and diving in the ASA U. National Championships in Oxford, OH on Saturday, April 4th.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

ASA University League Bans Technical Suits from Nationals

american swimming association university leagueThe American Swimming Association University League is preparing for Nationals hosted by Miami University in Oxford, OH.

In a recent newsletter, the ASA U. addressed the issue of suit technology with rule changes of their own. Apart from making technical suit specifications in the rules, the ASA U. has outright banned the Speedo LZR, TYR Tracer Rise and Light, and Blueseventy Nero from their National Championship meet.

Full reprint of the ASA U. newsletter below.

The technology being applied to swimsuits has presented a complex and rapidly changing issue that the swimming world has struggled with over the last couple of years. For ASA, this has presented the problem of distinguishing between suits that are wardrobe and suits that are designed as performance enhancing devices. We were surprised to hear that a number of our club swimmers might have been planning to wear very expensive suits at Nationals. In the interest of fair competition and in order to abide by ASA’s prohibition of performance-enhancing devices, the determinations below will be in effect at Nationals:

1. A change in the ASA Rulebook: only one suit and one cap will be allowed in competition. This change is now reflected in ASA Rules published on the ASA website.

2. The following suits are considered performance-enhancing and will not be allowed at Nationals:

Blue Seventy Nero Comp Skinsuit
Speedo LZR suits
TYR Rise and Tracer Light suits
Rocket Science Sports Rocket Racer and Skin Suits
Aqua Zone Renegade
Arena Powerskin R-evolution
Adidas Powerweb
Mizuno Accel and Mighty Line Suits
Diana Submarine

3. No suit will be allowed that covers past the shoulders (no arm coverage) or past the ankles (no foot coverage).

ASA rules are intended to promote integrity, honesty, equal opportunity, fair play, dignity, responsibility, respect and enjoyment in competitive swimming.

If you believe the suit that you are wearing is designed to enhance your performance, then please leave it at home. Let’s let the outcome of the competition be determined by what you do in the water, not what you can buy.

If you are aware that you violate any rule at the meet, you are required under our self-disqualification rule to report the violation to a meet referee who will then process the disqualification.

There is no prohibition on logos or ads on suits. No need to worry about covering them up.

Friday, January 30, 2009

ASA U. Providing Competitive Opportunities

A Note from Eric:

I just joined the American Swimming Association University League as an alumni of Miami University, Oxford, OH. [Alumni, faculty, and staff can compete at the team's discretion] I would just like to say that I had no idea the ASA even existed while I was competing in college, but now I’m thrilled to be a part of it.

The American Swimming Association was started to provide college students a competitive league for swimming (especially for schools whose programs had been cut). The ASA gained popularity, and hosted their first National Championships in 2005!

Tomorrow afternoon, the Miami Redfins (Miami University) will host an invitational at the Corwin M. Nixon Aquatic Center. If you check the meet information here, you’ll notice that there is even a diving event listed!

Props to ASA U. for providing an avenue for me to compete again for the first time in 2 years!


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>>Check out the ASA U. Calendar for the rest of the season.

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