"We have worked very hard to have swimming sanctioned as a Mid-South Conference sport," St. Catharine swimming coach Lindsey Guzman said. Men and women's swimming becomes the 21st and 22nd championship sports sponsored by the Mid-South.
By reaching championship sport status, swimming is added to the list of sports eligible for President's Cup points -- the conference's all-sports trophy. Swimming student-athletes also are eligible for all-conference awards.
"The Mid-South Conference is excited about the addition of swimming as a championship sport for the 2014-15 academic calendar year," MSC Commissioner Eric Ward said. "This is another opportunity for our conference to recognize even more of our members' student-athletes for their academic achievements, character development and athletic successes."
In addition to St. Catharine, Bethel (Tenn.), Campbellsville (Ky.), Cumberlands (Ky.), and Lindsey Wilson (Ky.) each sponsor men's swimming while the five schools and Life (Ga.) sponsor women's swimming.
The Mid-South Conference Swimming Championships replaces the Mid-South Invitational -- which was hosted each of the last two seasons by Lindsey Wilson -- as the lead-in to the NAIA Championships.
The swimming season begins in September and runs through the NAIA National Championships March 4-7 in Oklahoma City, Okla.
Swimming joins baseball, men and women's basketball, men and women's bowling, cheerleading, men and women's cross country, football, men and women's golf, men and women's soccer, softball, men and women's tennis, men and women's outdoor track & field, volleyball and wrestling as Mid-South Conference championship sports.
"Being a conference sport is great for the advancement of swimming in our conference and helps to validate our teams' hard work. It also helps to motivate our swimmers throughout the season," Guzman said.