Truman State swimming looking to make a splash in the GLVC

For the first time in more than 30 seasons, the Truman swimming programs will compete for the same conference pennant as their fellow Bulldogs with the beginning of league-sponsored swimming and diving by the Great Lakes Valley Conference.

While the Truman athletic department as a whole contended for MIAA championships for more than a century, the men's and women's swimming programs have been on their own since the early 1980s, bouncing between five different swimming-specific conferences through the 2012-13 season. Both Bulldog swim programs pushed off in the 1977-78 season under the direction of Fontaine Piper, participating as MIAA and MAIAW members for four seasons through 1981.

However, at that point, the conference sponsorship disintegrated, forcing the Bulldogs to look for homes in a variety of places, beginning with the Midwest Championship (1982-90), and continuing through the Mideast Championship (1990-99), the Central States (1999-2004), the New South (2004-12) and the Northern Sun (2012-13).

Meanwhile, the Great Lakes Valley will debut men's and women's swimming & diving as its 19th and 20th sports for the 2013-14 academic year, allowing the Bulldog programs â?? under the direction of head coach Ed Pretre â?? to join alongside 18 other Truman teams as full-fledged GLVC members.

About GLVC Swimming

Seven men's teams and seven women's programs, representing eight member institutions, will vie for the inaugural 2014 GLVC Championship in February.

Five GLVC schools sponsor both men's and women's swimming and diving, including Bellarmine (Ky.), Drury (Mo.), Indianapolis, Lewis (Ill.), and William Jewell (Mo.), while Truman will field both its men's and women's swimming-only programs. In addition, Missouri S&T currently sponsors men's-only, and Maryville (Mo.) will begin its inaugural women's-only swimming season this year.

The programs will combine under the GLVC banner from a variety of avenues, as Truman and William Jewell both change allegiances from the Northern Sun to the GLVC.

Bellarmine, Drury and Missouri S&T compete in the New South, while Indianapolis and Lewis have been members of the Great Lakes Intercollegiate.

Courtesy Truman State University