June 14, 2012

Swimming & Diving headed to WAC

WAC Board of Directors Release

DENVER – At its annual meeting this past week, the Western Athletic Conference Board of Directors approved several sports-related issues. The Board also discussed conference realignment opportunities and the nation’s changing landscape.

“The WAC Board of Directors continues to aggressively evaluate membership options,” WAC Interim Commissioner Jeff Hurd said. “We remain confident in the league’s future and will continue to survey and discuss several options.” 

In other actions, the Board approved the addition of three affiliate members. CSU Bakersfield and Northern Colorado will join the WAC in swimming and diving, while Boise State will join the league in gymnastics.

In the past three seasons, the Northern Colorado swimming and diving team has posted more than 80 top 10 times/scores to the school’s top 10 lists, including two school records during the 2011-12 season (platform diving, 800 freestyle relay). Diving has been one of the bright spots for the Bears, as eight of the top 10 one-meter scores and nine of the top 10 three-meter scores have come during head coach Kelly McClanahan’s time at the helm. The top five platform dives have also come in the past three years. In addition, the Bears return two-time all-conference selection Courtney Van Oost, who currently ranks in the top three in school history in five individual events (200 free, 100 back, 200 back, 200 IM, 400 IM) and is a member of two school-record relay teams.

“This is a tremendous opportunity for Northern Colorado swimming & diving,” said McClanahan. “When I was hired in 2009, the WAC was a league I wanted the team to become a part of. The MPSF has been terrific for us the past two years and I look forward to what we can do moving forward. We already compete against several teams in the WAC and are excited about continuing that tradition.”

The Bears have been a member of the MPSF since July 20, 2010 and competed in the Conference USA Championships as an invitational member the three season’s prior to that.

CSU Bakersfield continues to build on its momentum with Director of Swimming Chris Hansen in his second season at the helm. Hansen took over the program a year ago, a season in which Rachel McCall qualified for the Olympic Trials in her native Canada. Her 200 freestyle time (long course) at the Canadian Trials was a new school record and completed a year for her in which she earned first team all-conference honors and was an CoSIDA Academic all-district selection. The Roadrunners broke three school records a year ago. With a full season of recruiting, Hansen will have 20 newcomers coming into the program.

The 2012 Boise State gymnastics team competed in their first non-conference season since 1994, ending a reign of conference titles in the record books. Although they were independent, the 2012 Broncos were as successful as ever, rewriting school record books, competing well in the postseason and ranking in the nation’s top 20 throughout the season. BSU gymnastics was a member of the WAC from 1991-93 and from 2006-11.

The new affiliate members will join the WAC in their respective sports for the 2012-13 season.