Tech Hosts U.S. Open Championships

Professional swimmers from around the world will gather at Georgia Tech’s McAuley Aquatic Center for the Toyota U.S. Open Championships, held Dec. 4-7. As many as 70 U.S. national teams will compete, as well as international teams from Australia, Canada, Japan, and other countries.

“We’re excited to host the U.S. Open, one of the biggest swimming events in the country this year,” said Courtney Hart, head swimming and diving coach at Georgia Tech and an Olympic gold medalist. “We’re in the middle of swim season, and I think the swimmer’s goal is to see where they are in their training. I’m sure some will try to qualify for the Olympic trials next summer before the Tokyo Games.”

In 2016 the McAuley Aquatic Center was No. 1 on the list of “The 10 Best Collegiate Swimming Pools” by College Ranker.

“It is one of the fastest swimming pools in the country, if not the world. Many American and world records have been set here,” said Michael Edwards, senior director of Tech’s Campus Recreation department.

“The pool has been the anchor that we have built the Campus Recreation Center around,” he said. “It is utilized by our entire campus including our varsity swimming and diving teams. We also host a number of age groups and championships in this pool.”

Edwards added that hosting the prestigious U.S. Open is a big deal for Georgia Tech.

“The meet will be televised, so there will be national and international visibility which is extremely important,” he said. “It puts Georgia Tech in front of a different audience — people who are interested in swimming but also those who are interested in our academic reputation.”

For those who are new to the world of competitive swimming, this is a good time to dip your toe in the water.

“If you have never been to a swim meet this is definitely one to come to,” said Coach Hart. “It’s one of the best in the country, with very fast swimming and lots of excitement.”

According to Edwards, “This is a small  venue, so the spectators are right on top of the action. The announcers get the crowd fired up. Like with any other athletic event, the athletes perform much better when there is a crowd cheering them on. It gives them a little boost to finish the race.”

Tech students, faculty, and staff may purchase tickets here. With your GT ID number (on your BuzzCard), you can get discounted tickets for $3-$25, depending on the pass.



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