By Chad Waller, NAIA Director of Communications and Sports Information
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) has announced a contract extension with Oklahoma City Community College (OCCC) to host the 2014 NAIA Men’s and Women’s Swimming & Diving National Championships. The OCCC Aquatics Center will serve as the facility. The contract has an option to renew for two additional one-year terms for 2015 and 2016.
The 2014 national championships will mark the third-consecutive season at OCCC.
“The aquatic center has proven to be a first-class facility for the sport of swimming and diving,” said Jim Carr, NAIA President and CEO. “The NAIA has been very pleased with our stay at OCCC for the past two years and look forward to that continued success. Our student-athletes deserve to have an experience that they will remember for a lifetime and we are confident that OCCC will offer that to them.”
The 58th Annual Men’s and 34th Annual Women’s Swimming and Diving National Championships will be held March 5 – 8.
“The partnership between Oklahoma City Community College and the NAIA has been tremendously successful,” said Roxy Butler, OCCC Recreation and Fitness Director. “Hosting the Men’s and Women’s Swimming and Diving Championship has allowed OCCC to showcase the Aquatic Center, and share the incredible history and hospitality of our great city. As we prepare for the future, it is our goal to strengthen the partnership between the NAIA and OCCC by providing a venue and an atmosphere that coaches, athletes and fans want to return to again and again.”
The OCCC Aquatic Center made its debut 24 years ago when the 1989 U.S. Olympic Festival was held in Oklahoma City. The facility remains a premier competitive natatorium in the state and region hosting numerous state, regional and national competitions.
In addition to the 50-meter competition pool, the facility features a separate diving well equipped with two one-meter springboards, two three-meter springboards and platforms at five, seven and ten meters. The facility has seating for 1,000 spectators, as well as athlete seating for up to 500.
The first NAIA Men’s National Championship occurred in 1992 in Edwardsville, Ill., when former member East Carolina (N.C.) won the event. Former member Simon Fraser (B.C.) won the inaugural women’s event in 1981 in Liberty, Mo. Currently, there are 22 men’s varsity programs and 25 women’s varsity programs in the NAIA.
Oklahoma Baptist swept the men’s and women’s team honors in 2013.
Since 1937, the NAIA has administered programs and championships in proper balance with the overall educational experience. In 2000, the NAIA reaffirmed its purpose to enhance the character-building aspects of sport. Through the Champions of Character program, the NAIA seeks to create an environment in which every student-athlete, coach, official and spectator is committed to the true spirit of competition through five core values: integrity, respect, responsibility, sportsmanship and servant leadership.
To learn more about the OCCC Aquatic Center, click here.