Queens University of Charlotte now joins the likes of schools such as the University of Michigan and Stanford University, both of which have long-standing partnerships with elite swim clubs that prepare athletes for the Olympics.
The opening of the Levine Center gave Queens the opportunity to partner with non-profit SwimMAC Carolina and its Team Elite, the world-wide leader and highly respected Charlotte-based swim club. Team Elite takes full advantage of the Levine Center, including its state-of-the-art aquatic center and 5,000-square-foot fitness center. The Olympic-bound athletes of Team Elite are using these facilities to train for the 2016 Rio Summer Olympics.
Not only do Queens' swimmers and other athletes have the opportunity to train alongside these elite athletes, they also get to witness first-hand the degree of dedication and focus it takes to compete at the world-class level.
"Having elite swimmers on campus provides such a positive influence for our Queens swim program and really, for the entire Queens community."
- Jeff Dugdale, Queens Director of Aquatics
SwimMAC Carolina's Team Elite is home to seven Olympians including the highly profiled Ryan Lochte and Cullen Jones, Arianna Vander-Poole, Nick Thoman, Roy Burch, Micah Lawrence and Patricia Castro-Ortega. Team Elite took home six medals from the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. The team is led by David Marsh, the renowned swim coach who is no stranger to helping fast swimmers go faster. In addition to an incredibly successful 17-year career at Auburn University, Marsh is a three-time Olympic coach, eight-time National Team Coach, nine-time NCAA National Coach of the Year and a 13-time SEC Coach of the Year.
The relationship between Team Elite and Queens got off the ground in 2010 when Queens announced it would create a new swim program with the help of Queens Director of Aquatics Jeff Dugdale and David Marsh, executive-in-residence for athletics and high performance. Since then, Queens' swim team continues to thrive, leading the country in many events on both the men's and women's side. This year, the team started out the season with a convincing win over Division I Gardner Webb University. Recently, they also faired strongly against powerhouse Auburn University at Queens' inaugural Royals invite, winning four events.
"I consider our partnership with Queens to be one of my greatest honors during my six years in Charlotte," said David Marsh. "The synergy we've experienced in moving toward excellence has only continued to grow stronger."