PAINESVILLE, OHIO – Wrestling and men’s and women’s swimming and diving will be the newest additions to the growing Lake Erie College Department of Athletics. The programs, set to debut during the 2010-11 academic year, bring the total of NCAA Division II-sponsored sport offerings at the College to 23.
The addition of the new sports coincides with Lake Erie joining the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) next fall. The Storm athletic teams currently compete as an NCAA Division II independent, with the exception of men’s and women’s lacrosse which compete in the East Coast Conference. The swimming and diving teams will immediately compete in the GLIAC, while wrestling, a sport not sponsored by the conference, will compete as an independent.
“The additions of wrestling and men’s and women’s swimming and diving are great fits to the stable of sports at Lake Erie,” said Director of Athletics Griz Zimmermann. “There is a real desire on the part of all those involved with these sports to compete at the college level. We will now be able to attract talented student-athletes, almost all of whom we may otherwise not have been able to attract, that have a lot to offer Lake Erie College, not just athletically, but to the entire campus community as well.”
The addition of wrestling and swimming and diving are the latest moves for a rapidly growing program. Lake Erie has added 13 varsity athletic programs since the spring of 2007.
“These new programs will aid our initiative to build a diverse and driven student body,” said President Michael T. Victor. “Our region has a strong tradition of outstanding high school wrestling and swimming and diving programs and we can now attract those students to Lake Erie College with opportunities in areas they are passionate about, both in sports and their academic pursuits.”
The wrestling program will be housed on campus, including a dedicated practice space, and compete in the arena at the Jerome T. Osborne Family Athletic & Wellness Center. The swimming and diving teams, which will practice and compete at the aquatics facility at the Perry High School Community Fitness Center.
Currently, the Storm competes in basketball, cross country, golf, lacrosse, soccer, track and field and tennis for both men and women, baseball and football for men and softball and volleyball for women.