Tonight’s the night

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“Take your mark!” A view of the old starting blocks in Gregory Pool

After five decades of legendary competition and grueling, superstar-producing workouts, Denison’s venerable Gregory Swimming Pool will host its final swimming and diving meet tonight. Following the dual meet with Malone University, the pool will be relegated to swimming and diving practices as the men’s team prepares to defend its 2011 NCAA national title and the women’s squad attempts to improve on its 2011 national runner-up finish.

The storied venue that has been home to hundreds of swimming and diving All-Americans and two NCAA national championship teams is being replaced with a $38.5 million renovation and expansion of the college’s athletics facilities scheduled to open later this year. Opened to the public in the fall of 1962, Gregory Pool, named in memory of Denison sports legend Mike Gregory ’29, has hosted tens of thousands of Big Red practices and hundreds of dual meets, and has served the community as a recreational resource.

Former Denison swimming coach and athletic director Ted Barclay, a professor emeritus and a Varsity D Association Hall of Famer, will be on hand at Gregory to help commemorate the special evening.

Read more about Gregory Pool and Mike Gregory, and view a collection of archival photos of the facility at DenisonBigRed.com.

UPDATE (1/30): Denison’s men and women cruised to a dual meet victory over Malone University on Friday. Prior to the start of the meet, senior diver Phil Meyer performed the ceremonial “Final Dive” at Gregory Pool and long-time coach and administrator Lynn Schweizer served as the honorary judge. Following Meyer’s dive, former swimming coach and athletic director Ted Barclay served as the honorary starter for the “Final Start”, an exhibition 50-yard freestyle swum by current Denison captains. Representing the swimming and diving program’s alumni was 1988 graduate and Denison Hall of Fame member Charlie Lownes in lane one. For more on the celebration and the meet, including video, check out DenisonBigRed.com.

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