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10 Best College Competition Pools in the US



IU Natatorium at IUPUI

It takes a lot more than a pool of water to host a competitive swimming event. Today’s college competition pools are getting more and more impressive. Not only are the swimming competitions heating up, but the battle to have one of the best competition pools is also getting fiercer.

Our Picks for the 10 Best College Competition Pools

Here are ten of our favorite competition pools across the United States.

10. Student Rec Center Natatorium – Texas A&M

Student Rec Center Natatorium – Texas A&M

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This is one of only five pools in the United States to host a stop on the FINA World Series Circuit. A 50-meter pool with eight lanes, it has a 17-feet-deep diving well. Since it opened in 1995, this pool has hosted many competitions, including the 1990 U.S. Open and the 2018 SEC Championships.

9. Burt Flickinger Center – Erie Community College

Burt Flickinger Center – Erie Community College

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This state-of-the-art athletic center at Erie Community College in Buffalo, New York was built in 1993 to serve as the swimming venue for the 1993 World University Games. It features two pools, an Olympic-sized competition pool and a 25-meter warm-up pool, and two diving boards, 1 meter and 3 meters. The center now serves as the home swimming venue for the Canisius men’s and women’s swimming and diving meets. It has also hosted the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) Swimming and Diving Championships every year since 2011. The facility has capacity for 1,500 spectators.

8. Gabrielsen Natatorium – University of Georgia

Gabrielsen Natatorium – University of Georgia

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The 50-meter competition pool in this natatorium can be configured into four completely different layouts with its two movable bulkheads. In addition to the competition pool, this natatorium has two other pools and enough seating for 2,000 spectators.

7. Avery Aquatic Center -Stanford University

Avery Aquatic Center -Stanford University

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There are four completely separate pools in this facility, including the Avery Competition Pool, which can host as many as 2,539 spectators at a time.

6. DeNunzio Pool– Princeton University

DeNunzio Pool– Princeton University

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The DeNunzio Pool has a minimum depth of nine feet and a maximum depth of 17 feet. Measuring 50 meters by 35 yards, it has two movable bulkheads for various pool configurations. This pool has seating for up to 1,700 fans, which comes in useful for the numerous competitions since it has hosted since opening its doors in 1990.

5. Freeman Aquatic Center – University of Minnesota

Freeman Aquatic Center – University of Minnesota

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Since it first opened in 1990, Freeman Aquatic Center has hosted more than five million participants. Minnesota’s top aquatic facility, it is one of the best competition pools in the nation. With its 50-meter pool, double eight-lane short course pool, diving well, bubble machine and extra amenities – it’s easy to see why people love this aquatic center.

4. McCorkle Aquatic Pavilion – The Ohio State University

McCorkle Aquatic Pavilion – The Ohio State University

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Many people say this is one of the best diving facilities in the U.S. It has hosted many events, including Big Ten Championships, NCAA Championships, USA Swimming invitational meets and more. This pool isn’t just for diving, though. It’s known for its speed as well, thanks to its deep gutters, lane width, depth and water inlets at the pool’s bottom.

3. Lee and Joe Jamil Texas Swimming Center – University of Texas Austin

Lee and Joe Jamil Texas Swimming Center – University of Texas Austin

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This Texas-based pool has hosted Grand Prix competitions, Olympic Trials, NCAA Championships and more. It’s considered one of the fastest pools in the world thanks to its gutter system, depth, lane width and high filtration rate. Fun Fact: Michael Phelps broke his first world record in this pool at the World Championship Trials. It was the 200-meter butterfly race when he was just 15 years old.

2. Herb McAuley Aquatic Center – Georgia Tech

Herb McAuley Aquatic Center – Georgia Tech

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This competition pool is 50 meters long and 10 lanes wide, with stadium seating for up to 1,950 people. This facility was built specifically for the 1996 Olympic Games, so it isn’t surprising that it’s a top pick for swimmers. This pool also has a movable floor to set the pool depth from zero to seven feet, eight inches. (As a bonus, the aquatic center also has a smaller leisure pool inside the facility).

1. IU Natatorium at IUPUI

IU Natatorium at IUPUI

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This pool has hosted hundreds of events, including state, regional, national and international events—and several Olympic and World Championship trials. Since its opening in 1982, “The Nat” has been home to 19 world records and holds the title of the biggest permanent swimming facility in the United States.

Competition Pools Across the U.S.

These ten pools are just a few of the best competition pools across the United States. Every year, new facilities pop up with impressive additions and features, keeping the competition between competition pools going strong.