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Thanks to Howard University, the jokes about Black people and swimming can officially cease.
On Saturday, Howard’s men’s swimming and diving team (928 points) captured the program’s first NEC championship since 1989, beating runner-up LIU by 169 points.
It was mission accomplished for the Bison, as they finished as runner-ups at last year’s NEC championship.
It was a fitting end to the team’s season as Howard set off the year by hosting the much-hyped “Battle at The Burr” meet against Georgetown. The event featured a DJ, dance troupes and the Howard band. It was the perfect way to put everyone on notice that Howard was in the pool and wasn’t taking second this time around.
And they did just that by winning the title.
The team had some individual standouts.
Senior Miles Simon, an Olympic trials qualifier, broke the meet record in the 200 IM and won the 100 back and 200 back. Those amazing performances earned him the NEC Outstanding Swimmer of the Meet.
His teammate Jordan Walker swept the springboard events and was named Outstanding Diver. The Bison coaching staff, led by Nic Askew, won Swimming Staff of the Year for the second year in a row and diving coach Courtenay Miller won Outstanding Dive Staff. If that wasn’t enough, the team set a new record in the 400 yard freestyle relay.
So with the exception of the Rookie of the Meet award, the Bison basically swept the awards stage at the NEC championship.
Howard is the only all-Black college swim team in the country, and that includes the swimmers, coaches and staff. The Bison are also the only HBCU institution to field a team.
So Howard sealed its place in the NEC swimming and diving record books, and it still has the NIT Championship to go.