Manchester University announced today that its men's and women's swimming and diving programs have become affiliate members of the Ohio Athletic Conference, beginning during the 2015-16 academic year.
The seven-team league includes MU; University of Mount Union of Alliance, Ohio; Transylvania University of Lexington, Ky., who is also an affiliate member hailing from the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference; Wilmington College of Ohio; Baldwin Wallace University of Berea, Ohio; John Carroll University of University Heights, Ohio; and Ohio Northern University of Ada, Ohio.
"This is a tremendous step forward for us," head coach Mike Kroll said. "It gives us an opportunity to be part of a traditionally-strong conference; has us connected with like-minded institutions that share the same values that Manchester University has; and it gives us a competitive event that we have been searching for at the end of the season.
"This conference competes at a very high level," he added. "That, in itself, will help continue to push the program and our student-athletes to even loftier goals down the road."
The OAC has competed for a men's swimming and diving championship since 1937 and a women's swimming and diving championship since 1990. The annual OAC championships meet is held each year at the University of Akron's Oliver J. Ocasek Natatorium. Mount Union's women and Ohio Northern's men go into 2015-16 as the defending team champions.