Swim Team Still Floating Without Pool

Following the closure of the campus aquatic center, one question has remained on the minds of some students: How has our swim team been staying afloat?

Even without a swimming facility on campus, women’s swimming has been successful in recruiting athletes to a Division 1 team. Kaley Creighton, a 2016 recruit, said hearing the team lacked its own pool was odd.

The Andy W. Sears Natatorium was opened to students on Dec. 4, 1987 as a swimming facility.Photo by Jordan Ferrell
The Aquatic Center was closed in 2014.
Photo by Jordan Ferrell

“When I first heard about it, it was a little strange that a D-1 school didn’t have a pool, but then when I went on my recruiting trip, they worked around it and it worked out pretty well,” said Creighton.

UNF is not the first university to have a pool-less swimming team. Incoming freshman Sarah Ciampa said during her recruiting visit to UNF, she wasn’t shocked by the absence of a pool. Ciampa formerly swam for Lakeside Swimming Club, which often hosted visiting universities at its facility.

“I know a lot of teams that don’t,” said Ciampa. “I swam on Lakeside and we had a team come in. Bellarmine University had to practice at the same pool that we did every morning, so I know it is kind of common.”

Currently, the UNF women’s swimming team is sharing the pool at Episcopal High School. During both Creighton and Ciampa’s recruiting visits, they were able to visit the practice facility.

“I liked it a lot, it’s pretty,” said Creighton. “When I was looking at schools, I needed an outdoor facility. I do not like swimming indoors, I feel claustrophobic. I just needed an outdoor pool to make me happy.”

The site location of the pool wasn’t an issue for Ciampa either, instead she focused on the features of the pool itself. 

“The pool that UNF recently had was inside, so I think the pool that they train in now at Episcopal is like an upgrade, it’s much nicer and better to train in,” said Ciampa.

Along with the opening of the recreation center in place of the aquatics center, there was talk of an Olympic-sized, outdoor swimming pool for the university. However, not much traction has been made in those discussions in recent months. Despite this. recruits are looking forward to practicing with their teammates.

“I really can’t wait to start,” said Creighton.

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