May 4, 2011
14 years ago, then 7 year old Dori Bland started her swimming
career with Napa Valley Swim Team. Dori's first competition was a
meet held in Vallejo where she swam in the 8 & Under division.
Dori is now 21 years old and recently finished her swimming career
at the ECC Swim Championships, swimm...ing
for the University of Colorado. The meet was held at Georgia Tech
University in Atlanta Georgia and just as she did when she swam in
age group competitions with the Napa Valley Swim Team, Dori gave
Bland still holds both short course and long course records with the Napa Valley Swim Team: 10 & Under 50 breaststroke (short course), Senior 200 Freestyle Relay (short course), 10 & Under 100 Meter Breaststroke (long course), 11-12 year Medley Relay (long course), 13-14 400 Freestyle relay (Long Course) and the Senior 400 Freestyle Relay (Long Course). Once in high school, Bland represented Vintage High School and made her mark with them as well.
The University of Colorado was one of 50 other college club swim teams from around the United States competing in this year's ECC Championship. This was the largest meet for college club swimming to date. As more colleges are dropping swimming as a varsity sport, due to budget cuts, more swimmers are turning to college club teams to continue their swimming dreams. The University of Colorado went into this meet as the 4-time defending combined men's and women's champions and with the larger meet, had their work cut out for them.
Dori joined 3 of her teammates to win both the 800 Freestyle Relay and the 400 Medley Relay. This Colorado relay team not only broke their school records in these two events, but they also set new meet records in both as well. The 200 Medley Relay took 2nd place, just missing the college's record by one tenth of a second. Individually, Dori finished 2nd overall in the 1000 freestyle, not only breaking the college's record by over 15 seconds but also setting a new meet record. Bland added to her team's point total by finishing 5th overall in the 200 Breaststroke, 8th in the 200 Freestyle and 13th in both the 100 Breaststroke and the 50 Breaststroke. Due to Dori's strong finishes and dedication to the sport, her University of Colorado teammates voted her the Women's Outstanding Swimmer for the meet.
At the conclusion of the 3 day meet, the University of Colorado's Women's team crushed their competition by over 300 points to give them the ECC Swim Championship title for the 5th year in a row. Colorado scored 720 1/2 points and coming in second was the University of Florida, scoring 367 points. By just 19 points, the University of Colorado's men's team finished 2nd overall to Rhode Island. In the overall scoring, the University of Colorado claimed it's title as overall ECC Champions for the 5th year in a row, by scoring 1270 1/2 points, finishing second was the University of Florida with 744 1/2 points.