Federal Way will host 2012 NCAA Men's Swimming and Diving Championships

University of Texas fans cheer during the 2008 NCAA Men
University of Texas fans cheer during the 2008 NCAA Men's Swimming and Diving Championships at the King County Aquatic Center. The facility was awarded the 2012 NCAA championships Friday.
— image credit: Casey Olson/The Mirror

The Weyerhaeuser King County Aquatic Center will be a busy place during the spring and summer of 2012.

Officials were informed Friday afternoon that Federal Way and the Aquatic Center were chosen to host the 2012 NCAA Division I Men's Swimming and Diving Championships. The NCAA meet is slated for March 22-24, 2012, and will take place just three months before the Aquatic Center will host the 2012 United States Olympic Diving Trials.

"2012 will be a busy year for us," Federal Way's Economic Development Director Patrick Doherty said in an email. "But this event will also be a good dry run for the Seattle Sports Commission, the Aquatic Center and city staff to gear up for the Olympic Dive Trials event."

Seattle University will serve as the host institution for the 2012 NCAA meet and the school will partner with the Seattle Sports Commission, the city of Federal Way and King County Parks and Recreation to host the event.

“We are thrilled that the NCAA has given us this opportunity to host one of its 88 annual championships,” said Bill Hogan, Seattle University Director of Athletics.

The King County Aquatic Center is no stranger to conducting national and international events. It was constructed to house the swimming and diving portions of the 1990 Goodwill Games and has since been the home to more than 50 competitions annually. The Aquatic Center last hosted the NCAA Men's National Swimming and Diving Championships in 2008.

"We’re delighted with this opportunity to provide our world-class facility for the nation's very best collegiate swimmers and divers in 2012," said King County Executive Dow Constantine. "When the King County Aquatic Center hosted this same event in 2008, we had excellent attendance and eight national records were set."

The city will be chipping in $30,000 from lodging tax funds to help run the NCAA Swimming and Diving Championships.

The news of the championships returning to Federal Way comes just two months after the city received word from the US Olympic Committee that the Aquatic Center would play host to the 2012 Diving Trials.

The Trials will be held June 18-24, 2012, and will include more than 100 of the nation’s best divers with spots on the 2012 U.S. Olympic Team on the line. The Trials will include men’s and women’s individual events in 3- and 10-meter competitions, plus men’s and women’s synchronized events at both heights.

Federal Way, which also held the diving trials in 2000, was selected by USA Diving, in conjunction with the United States Olympic Committee, over Indianapolis.

NBC owns broadcast rights for the 2012 U.S. Olympic Team Trials giving this event and the Puget Sound region national media exposure.

"As a region, we are thrilled to participate in the Olympic movement as our athletes prepare for London," said Ralph Morton, Executive Director for the Seattle Sports Commission.

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