The 2022-2023 season will be the UMW swim team’s last in the Metropolitan Collegiate Swimming and Diving Conference. Beginning next season, the team will join the New Jersey Athletics Conference, announced on Jan. 10 in an update from the women’s swim team.
“The move from the Metropolitan Collegiate Swimming and Diving Conference (METS) to the NJAC conference will mean a more stable conference situation for our men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams,” said Coach Justin Anderson.
The Metropolitan Collegiate Swimming and Diving Conference is one of the largest intercollegiate conferences in the U.S. that focuses solely on swimming and diving. The conference is associated with the NCAA and includes Division I, II and III level teams. In contrast, the New Jersey Athletics Conference provides outlets for other NCAA Division III sports such as volleyball, soccer, tennis and more. While both conferences are located within northern states, the New Jersey conference provides fewer levels of competition, allowing for more competitive matchups.
“Annually this conference should have anywhere from 3-4 schools ranked in the top-25 nationally, and send anywhere from 15-20 swimmers to the national championship on a regular basis,” said Anderson. “It will be a great opportunity for our students to be pushed to higher levels.”
The new conference includes schools such as the College of New Jersey, Montclair State University and Rowan University, all of which are strong competition for UMW’s swim team.
“The team will benefit from a heightened level of competition,” said men’s swim team captain Stephen Wallach, a senior business administration major, when asked how the change will challenge the team. “A high energy and fast conference will push our team to swim faster than ever before.”
Though UMW swim has been a part of the metropolitan conference, a common misconception is that the team is part of the Coast-To-Coast Athletic Conference, which many of UMW’s other athletic teams belong to.
“Funny enough, UMW swimming was never in the C2C,” said women’s swim team captain Katie Posavec, a senior marketing major. “When the CAC [Capital Athletic Conference] dismantled, the C2C conference that the school joined did not have swimming.”
With the change in conferences coming next season, the team’s regular season is coming to a close in February with Metropolitan Collegiate Swimming and Diving Conference Championships and NCAA Division III Championships. The team has performed well this season, as the women’s record is 9-1 and the men’s is 7-3. They still have one more meet waiting for them next week.
The team’s last regular season meet will be held at UMW in the Goolrick pool on Feb. 3.