Braden Holloway has done a fantastic job since taking over the swimming programs at NC State, and he’s done it despite lacking facilities. That is about to change: in conjunction with other renovations to Carmichael Gymnasium, the Wolfpack’s swim teams are getting a brand new outdoor pool.
If you are a novice like me when it comes to the particulars of competitive swimming, you might be wondering why an outdoor facility is important. In reading around a bit, I learned that a lot of international competitions are held outdoors, and in addition to better preparing athletes for those competitions, the facility allows for more flexibility in training in general, and that also helps better prepare swimmers for the Olympics.
That obviously has implications in recruiting, and a lot of elite programs already have outdoor facilities. Stanford has a damn palace of a facility. (And a good example of how Holloway has been working from behind in this regard.)
NC State already has done a good job of churning out Olympic-caliber swimmers—Ryan Held has the gold medal to prove it—and with even more to sell the program moving forward, that’s going to continue.