AKRON – The Ohio Athletic Conference has confirmed its participation in the 2017-18 Collegiate Para Swimming Series, and will be hosting Para swimming events during its 2018 OAC Swimming & Diving Championships, February 15-17 at the University of Akron's Ocasek Natatorium.
The series, made possible through a generous grant from the Craig H. Neilsen Foundation, is the product of collaboration between U.S. Paralympics, a division of the U.S. Olympic Committee, the NCAA and host organizations, like the OAC.
The goal of the series is to expand awareness and create more opportunities for student-athletes with disabilities to compete at the collegiate level. Swimming is a highly inclusive Paralympic sport with eligibility categories spanning physical, visual and intellectual impairments.
As part of the series, the OAC will be hosting two Para swimming events on Saturday, Feb. 17.
One event will be held immediately following the prelims on Saturday morning and the other will precede the 1650 freestyle finals on Saturday evening.
Ohio Northern alum and Paralympic silver medalist Amanda Everlove and current University of Tennessee freshman Kamila Nosarzewski are schedule to compete.
"I'm very excited to compete at the Ohio Athletic Conference Championships," Nosarzewski, 19, said. "It is a great opportunity. Not many people get the chance to compete at a meet of this magnitude. I believe that if you get an opportunity you take it and embrace it."
Nosarzewski is a para-athlete with a S10 classification and has been swimming competitively for more than two years. Her accomplished meets have been zones and para World Trials. Her favorite event is spring freestyle.
Everlove is a 2017 PharmD graduate of Ohio Northern and is a world-class Paralympic swimmer.
She competed in the Beijing Paralympic Games in 2008 where she won three silver medals in the 50 free, 100 Fly and the 200 I.M. events and set a world record in the 100 fly with an S8 classification.
Everlove also competed in the London Paralympic Games in 2012 while a member of the Ohio Northern swim team under current head coach Peggy Ewald.
Amanda currently lives in Columbus and workd for CVS.
ONU head coach Peggy Ewald is a Para swimming veteran, having coached in many Paralympics and ParaPan Am Games events.
Remaining events for this year's Para Swimming Series includes the 2018 PCSC Championships at the SPLASH! Regional Aquatics Center (Feb. 14-17); and the 2018 ECAC Open Swimming and Diving Championships at Rutgers University in Piscataway, New Jersey (Feb. 23-25).
"Besides being a very inclusive sport, Para swimming heats are easily integrated into existing swim meets," said Paul Ackerman, U.S. Paralympics director of Paralympic sport development. "Through the series this year our goal was to create more collegiate competition opportunities and generate awareness about Paralympic sport. We've successfully expanded competition opportunities with the help of three conferences, the OAC, the ECAC and the PCSC. Moving forward, there is still a need to connect with students with disabilities that want to participate in these events."
For more information about the OAC, please contact OAC Director of Information Lindsey Miller at email@example.com or get online at www.oac.org.
ABOUT THE CRAIG H. NEILSEN FOUNDATION
The Craig H. Neilsen Foundation is dedicated to supporting programs and scientific research to improve the quality of life of those affected by, and living with, spinal cord injury.
For more information, visit: http://chnfoundation.org
ABOUT U.S. PARALYMPICS
U.S. Paralympics, a division of the United States Olympic Committee, is dedicated to becoming the world leader in the Paralympic sports movement and to promoting excellence in the lives of persons with physical disabilities. Visit the U.S. Paralympics website at USParalympics.org. Stay connected with U.S. Paralympics on Facebook and Twitter.