Women's lacrosse, men's swimming join the Division III ranks
ORANGE, Calif. – Chapman University Athletics has officially promoted two of its sports programs from club to varsity status beginning this 2012-13 school year. Women's lacrosse and men's swimming and diving will compete at the NCAA Division III level and will immediately join Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) competition along with the rest of Chapman's athletics programs.
Women's lacrosse became a club sport at Chapman in 2009 and experienced tremendous success in a short time, winning a Women's Collegiate Lacrosse Associates (WCLA) Division II national championship in 2011 with an undefeated record of 17-0. The Panthers have averaged 11 wins per year over their first four years of existence and won over 72 percent of their games (44-17) at the club level. Chapman becomes the sixth school in the SCIAC to sponsor women's lacrosse at the Division III level.
"Women's lacrosse is an emerging sport in the NCAA and we're thrilled to be able to take this next step with our women's program," said Chapman Director of Athletics David Currey. "We're excited for what this brings to our athletic department and our new home in the SCIAC."
It's been a longer wait for men's swimming and diving, which traces its club roots back to the 1990s. Men have competed at many of the same meets and events as the Chapman women over the years, but have not been able to qualify for NCAA championships until now. The Panthers become the ninth school in the highly-competitive SCIAC to offer men's swimming and diving.
The additions are part of Chapman joining the SCIAC which took place in 2011. Chapman becomes a full-fledged member in 2012-13 and is eligible to compete for conference championships in all varsity sports. Chapman now has 19 varsity athletic teams competing at the Division III level.
by Doug Aiken
Sports Information Director