Cal Poly swimmers who qualify for national championship meets will be able to wear high-tech racing suits thanks to a deal reached with Arena, a global sportswear company with a subsidiary based in Carlsbad.
Tom Milich, the coach for Cal Poly aquatics, said Arena will provide technical racing suits for the men and women swimmers who qualify for national championships.
“Trying to provide the best opportunity for kids to compete at the national level is the goal,” said Milich.
Arena officials would not disclose the dollar value of the deal. Milich said the total cost depends on how many swimmers qualify for national meets.
But such suits cost more than $400 apiece, Milich said, due to the high-tech fabric used.
“The key is reduced drag, and whenever possible to have it tight enough,” he said.
Under national swimming rules, the fabric has to be woven. Arena calls its material “Hydro-stealth,” and notes it weighs less than 3.5 ounces per suit. The suit is a blend of materials that Arena calls polyamide and elastane.
The company will provide the racing suits, as well as sportswear, for four years. Arena also has such arrangements with Auburn (Ala.) University and UC Berkeley.
Arena was interested in supporting Cal Poly aquatics because of its recent success under Milich. The men’s and women’s teams each placed third last season in the Big West Conference championships, and were led by Peter Kline, who was the Mustangs’ first national championship qualifier since the university joined Division 1 in 1994.
Milich said Cal Poly has 26 women swimmers, 24 men and eight divers.
Asked whether the new suits will come in Cal Poly green and gold, Milich said there are only two color choices. “They come in black or navy blue,” he said.
— Tad Weber
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