NCAA swim championships roll into Federal Way

Auburn University has won five straight team titles; meet will conclude Saturday

  • Friday, June 13, 2008 4:10pm
  • Sports

University of Florida’s Logan Storie competes in a preliminary heat of the 500-yard freestyle Thursday at the Weyerhaeuser King County Aquatic Center in Federal Way.

By CASEY OLSON, The Mirror

The Weyerhaeuser King County Aquatic Center is one of the best swimming facilities in the United States. Just ask the close to 300 athletes competing at this weekend’s 2008 NCAA Men’s Swimming and Diving Championships in Federal Way.

The three-day meet concludes tonight. Preliminary events will start up at noon and finals will begin at 7 p.m., concluding with the crowning of the team national champions.

“I really like the pool and it feels like a fast pool so I think we have a good chance to swim really fast,” said Auburn University senior Alexei Puninski, who is an eight-time All-American from Croatia. “I checked out the blocks today and they are really high, so I’m looking forward to swimming fast and breaking some records this week.”

Auburn has won the past five Division I national team championships and, along with the University of Texas, has dominated NCAA swimming for the past decade. Before Auburn began its streak, Texas won the three previous titles (2000-02). Indiana University holds the record for most consecutive team titles with six from 1968-1973.

But Auburn didn’t come into these championships as the odds-on favorite. The final dual meet poll taken by the College Swimming Coaches Association of America had Texas, Arizona, Stanford and Michigan listed ahead of the Tigers.

“I think the whole experience so far has been a blast,” said Auburn freshman Kohlton Norys. “I think that our team has really clicked together and it has really been one heck of an experience.”

The team title should come down to those five powerhouse swimming programs. The Longhorns came into Federal Way as the No. 1-ranked team in the country and are coached by Eddie Reece, who will head up the United States Olympic Team in Beijing at the 2008 Summer Olympics. Reece has coached the U.S. Olympic team twice before.

Tonight’s finals include the 200-yard backstroke, 100 free, 200 breaststroke, 200 butterfly, platform diving, 1,650 free and the 400 freestyle relay. Tickets are available at the door.

In other news:

• Federal Way National Little League is taking advantage of the 2008 NCAA Men’s National Swimming and Diving Championships. The Little League is using its complex adjacent to the Weyerhaeuser King County Aquatic Center as a parking lot.

Federal Way National is charging $7 per car to park in their lot and using the money as a fundraiser. There is one downfall for Federal Way National, however. The swim meet isn’t allowing any baseball games to be played this weekend.

Sports editor Casey Olson: 925-5565, sports@fedwaymirror.com


Talk to us

Please share your story tips by emailing editor@federalwaymirror.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.federalwaymirror.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) Please keep letters to 300 words or less.

More in Sports

Sports card fanatic finds a home at FW Farmers Market

Richard Davis, 87, sells sports cards from his 100,000 card collection at the farmers market each week.

Fall sports postponed for FWPS middle, high schools

The NPSL recently moved all Season 1 sports into Season 3 beginning in March.

Pictured: A Mercer Island High School swimmer competes in fall 2019. Washington Interscholastic Activities Association recently announced the girls swim and dive season will be moved to “Season 3,” which begins March 1. File photo
WIAA gives schools option to delay start of prep sports until December

An updated plan moves girls swimming to Season 3 and makes fall cross country an alternate season.

The Todd Beamer Titans football team in Federal Way during a 2019 summer practice. File photo
WIAA modifies prep sports calendar; football moved to spring

Washington’s high school athletics governing body announced its revised plans for the… Continue reading

WIAA delays start dates for fall sports

Football practices to begin Sept. 5, all other sports planned for Sept. 7.

Emerald Downs changes opening day to June 24

Live racing to return at Auburn track but without fans

COURTESY FILE PHOTO, Emerald Downs
Emerald Downs announces revised 2020 stakes schedule

Racing starts June 22; first featured race Aug. 2

Emerald Downs to open for horse racing June 22

No fans initially at Auburn track; fans can wager from home

FILE PHOTO, Brian Liesse, T-Birds
T-Birds issue ticket refunds, exchanges for cancelled games in Kent

17,000 tickets sold for three March contests at ShoWare Center

Decatur senior to bowl at collegiate level

Team captain and league MVP Ruth Magana signed her National Letter of Intent at home last week.

T-Birds select 13 players in Bantam Draft

Seattle trades goalie Roddy Ross to Regina for three draft picks

No-show season: WIAA announces cancellation of spring sports, activities

Due to the school closure extension, the cancellation includes all practices, competitions, tournaments and championships, WIAA says.