Athletics & Recreation / Magazine Feature

DU-based amateur swim club reaches top of the hill

The DU Hilltoppers swim team recently won a 2010 gold medal from the USA Swimming Club Excellence Program. This makes the Hilltoppers the only Colorado team ever to achieve gold medal status.

The Hilltoppers earned 26,115 points, placing them 13th among the highest point-scoring clubs in the program. To earn the gold level, a club must be ranked in the top 16. Each year, USA Swimming distributes a total of $320,000 in grants to the nation’s top 100 teams.

Three freshmen on the DU Pioneers swimming and diving team — Mark Maguire, Kirsten Milberg and Coleton Worsley — swim for the Hilltoppers. An additional qualifying freshman, Kyle Milberg, signed a letter of intent to swim with the Pioneers in November 2009.

Head coach Shawn Smith has led the Hilltoppers for the past 10 years. The 2009–10 season was the team’s best-ever season.

“Being recognized as a gold medal club by USA Swimming is a tremendous honor,” says Smith. “It is very exciting to see our athletes dedication, sacrifice and hard work result in national recognition. I applaud their efforts, and congratulate them for creating an environment that has produced this kind of widespread success.”

The Hilltoppers program offers aquatic training for ages 5 and up and includes groups that range from developmental introduction to Olympic trial preparation.

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