The Bullets Pool Reflects Success

GETTYSBURG, Pa. – For the last 10 years, Gettysburg College swimmers have risen to new heights in the tepid and crystalline waters of the Bullets Pool.

The Bullets Pool and surrounding natatorium is a focal point inside The Jaeger Center for Athletics, Recreation, and Fitness, encompassing over 30,000 square feet. The first shovel full of dirt marking the groundbreaking of the Jaeger Center in 2008 was lifted from the area that currently features eight competition lanes.

In less than two years, the Bullets Pool opened its lanes for intercollegiate competition and recreational swimming. In addition to the main pool, the natatorium features a five-lane warm-up area, nearly equaling the size of Gettysburg’s previous six-lane pool located on the second floor of the College Union Building.

Increased spectator seating has enabled nearly 400 viewers to take seats above the pool deck for dual meets and conference championship events. For the first time in school history, Gettysburg hosted the Centennial Conference Championship in 2011, the first of six conference swimming championships hosted over the last decade.

Since the first dual meet against the University of Mary Washington on Jan. 16, 2010, the Bullets Pool has held onto its status as a devilishly fast pool. Hundreds of NCAA qualifying marks have been notched by both the Bullets and their opponents, while conference and school records have been set and reset a multitude of times. Of the 38 school records listed at Gettysburg, all but five have been achieved in the Bullets Pool.

The pool of the present certainly wouldn’t have been possible without a nod to past pools, which saw Gettysburg swimming rise to the forefront of the Middle Atlantic Conference and Centennial Conference. The aforementioned CUB Pool was the home to intercollegiate and recreational swimming for five decades (1959-2009) and housed a total of 38 conference championship teams. Both national championship winners in the women’s program – Patti Schuman ’84 and Lynne Cassidy ’92 – trained in the CUB Pool.

Gettysburg College has featured a pool on campus since 1922 when construction on Weidensall Hall was completed. The building contained a 20-by-60 foot swimming pool with lockers and showers on the ground floor along with a large lobby and several meeting rooms. The YMCA and student groups made use of the pool for recreational swimming and the first intercollegiate varsity squad took their first dives in 1929. Weidensall remained the school’s pool until 1959 when the CUB opened its doors and welcomed a new generation of swimmers to its waters. Remnants of the first pool’s foundation can still be seen in the basement of the Weidensall Hall, which now houses the College’s history, humanities, philosophy, religion, and education departments.

While the current Bullets Pool vastly outshines its predecessors in size and functionality, nods to the past fill the walls of the natatorium. Pool and school records, championship teams, and all 77 men’s and women’s All-Americans are proudly displayed on large blue acrylic boards scattered around the upper walls of the edifice. A fully functioning eight-lane clock fills the southwest corner, giving spectators an easy view of the newest records set by Gettysburg swimmers each year.

In the west end of the pool area, sets of weights and workout equipment is available for dry-land training, and through the windows on the south side of the pool, the rest of the workout equipment housed in the Jaeger Center is visible. The varsity teams have access to their own locker rooms inside much larger locker room spaces for visiting teams and the general public. Just outside the pool area sits the popular Dive, featuring a full menu of healthy food options and delicious shakes.

In 2019-20, more than a 1,000 spectators packed into the Bullets Pool over four days for the CC Championship. The meet featured two dozen NCAA qualifying times, seven pool records, eight championship meet records, and four conference records. The Gettysburg women’s team walked off the pool deck with their conference record 15th team championship, while the men’s squad finished a close runner-up in the team standings.Print Friendly Version

This story was originally posted on the Gettysburg College Website.

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