Gettysburg College will send its swimmers into the crystal-clear waters of the Bullets Pool in search of national qualifying times and program records with a dual meet against Johns Hopkins University on Friday, April 23 at 4:30 p.m.
Despite the cancellation of the winter sports season within the Centennial Conference and the cancellation of the NCAA Division III Swimming Championships, the Bullets and Blue Jays have managed to create a plan for an in-person meet inside the natatorium. Both teams will adhere to all health and safety protocols in preparation for and at the event, including testing for COVID-19, masking when not in the water, and social distancing on the pool deck.
“Having an in-person meet is huge,” said Gettysburg Head Coach Greg Brown, who is in his second season at the helm. “These kids have been working really hard this semester. I am so happy their hard work will be rewarded and it’s even better that the meet will be against a high quality opponent like Johns Hopkins. It will really let us see where we stand heading into next fall.”
Gettysburg is an annual contender for the Centennial Conference championship in both men’s and women’s swimming. On the men’s side, the Bullets finished runner-up in the conference in 2019-20 and the bulk of the lineup returns to the meet against Johns Hopkins, including six all-conference swimmers. The women won their program record 15th CC title in 2020 with 11 swimmers gaining all-conference recognition.
Unlike the majority of its athletic programs, Johns Hopkins’ swimming teams do not compete as members of the Centennial Conference. As an independent program, Blue Jays have annually ranked among the nation’s best, with the men finishing fourth at the NCAA meet six times from 2013-19 and the women posting top-10 national performances every year from 2011 to 2018.
Gettysburg and Johns Hopkins have not met in dual competition since 1995. The Bullets lead the series with the Blue Jays 12-7-1 on the women’s side, while the Johns Hopkins men have won all 34 meetings since the series began in 1929-30. The last time Johns Hopkins visited the Bullets Pool was for the Gettysburg Invitational in 2013. Blue Jay swimmers still hold nine pool records including the men’s 200 fly and 200 back and the women’s 100 free, 100 back, 200 back, 400 IM, 200 free relay, 400 free relay, and 800 free relay.
Both teams will be aiming for not only pool and program records, but also national qualifying standards. With the NCAA Division III Swimming Championships cancelled, the College Swimming and Diving Coaches Association of America (CSCAA) has created a set of standards for All-America consideration. Athletes can become eligible for first-team honors by achieving either a CSCAA Automatic Time Standard or being ranked among the eight-fastest in their respective events. For consideration of second-team honors, Athletes must achieve a CSCAA Consideration Standard and be ranked 9-16th in their respective event. If fewer than sixteen individuals or relays achieve the ‘B’ standard in a given event, no additional selections will be made for that event. Athletes will be limited to All-American honors in up to seven events (with a maximum of three individual).
“Truthfully we are keeping the expectations realistic,” said Brown. “I’m sure we’re going to swim fast, but this has been such a different year and the training hasn’t been what we are all use to. That being said, I have encouraged the athletes to dream big and go for those All-American consideration times. Hopkins will be coming in to the do the same, so let’s race together and see what we can accomplish!”
Per institutional guidelines, spectators will not be allowed in the natatorium for the meet. The event will be streamed live at https://www.centennialconference.tv/gettysburgbullets/.