Eastern Illinois & South Dakota State join the Mid-Con in swimming & diving
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Eastern Illinois-South Dakota State Swimming & Diving Release

Eastern Illinois & South Dakota State join the Mid-Con in swimming & diving


ELMHURST, ILL. — Eastern Illinois and South Dakota State have accepted an invitation to join the Mid-Continent Conference as associate members in the sports of men’s and women’s swimming & diving, Mid-Con Commissioner Tom Douple announced today. Eastern Illinois and South Dakota State will begin competing in the Mid-Con immediately, culminating in an appearance at the 2006 Mid-Con Swimming & Diving Championships at IUPUI (Feb. 16-18). Both squads will also be eligible for Mid-Con weekly awards and academic honors immediately.

The Mid-Continent Conference Presidents Council and Joint Council voted unanimously at their most-recent meetings to extend an associate membership invitation to Eastern Illinois and South Dakota State in swimming & diving.

“We are delighted to add Eastern Illinois and South Dakota State as associate members in men’s and women’s swimming & diving,” Commissioner Douple said. “These two new members will enhance the Championship with additional participants, coaches and spectators.”

Eastern Illinois has been competing as an independent in men’s and women’s swimming & diving since the 1996-97 school year. The Panthers are led by Ray Padovan who is in his 40th year as the men’s head coach and 27th as the women’s mentor.

“We’re pleased to be invited to compete in the Mid-Continent Conference, and be involved again in a very competitive conference championship meet. We already compete in dual meets or regular season tournaments against several Mid-Con teams and historically have had close ties with these league members,” Padovan said. “We have also a great relationship with the conference when Eastern was affiliated in all sports back in the 1980s and 1990s, so we are confident this will be a very positive, competitive experience for our men’s and women’s swimming & diving teams.”

South Dakota State has been competing as an independent since making the move from Division II to Division I in 2004. The Jackrabbits also have a head coach with a long tenure in Brad Erickson, who has overseen the SDSU swimming & diving programs for 30 years.

“This announcement is great news for SDSU swimming & diving. A very much appreciated ‘thank you’ goes out to the Mid-Continent Conference for allowing us to join such a great conference as an associate member, and for the opportunity to immediately be eligible for conference athletic and academic awards, including Athlete of the Week, as well as immediate eligibility for individual and team championships at the end of the season,” Erickson stated. “We are excited for the opportunity to swim and dive in some of the finest natatoriums in the country. We hope to be a competitive member, and look forward to building relationships with the other teams in the conference,” he added.

 

 

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