A SHORT HISTORY OF NOVA

The banners gracing the walls of the NOVA Aquatics Center tell part of the NOVA story: championships captured, excellence achieved. They chronicle the swift ascent of a team whose name has been synonymous with fast swimming and excellent sportsmanship. 

Geoff Brown, the founder of NOVA, led the largely age-group team to a State Championship win during its first year of existence. NOVA was different then, a composite team comprised of three branches located at Woodlake, Burkwood, and the University of Richmond. The composite team remained united for multiple successful seasons, then broke apart as each branch decided to embark on a new direction. While the old NOVA ceased to exist, the name endured, inherited by the University of Richmond branch of the program.

The new NOVA program prospered and grew despite losing access to all evening time at U of R. A three-year move across town to the North Richmond YMCA ended with the building of the NOVA Aquatics Center at Gayton Road, two ten-lane 25-yard swimming pools in Richmond’s West End. In 2021, NOVA opened its second Aquatics facility in a vacated Macy’s space at the Regency Mall. This facility features an eight-lane 50-meter pool and two 25-yard pools. NOVA is a unique U.S. club because it owns and controls its own water.

A list of the achievements of NOVA swimmers:

  • Olympic Gold Medalist, Townley Haas, 2016 & 2020
  • Olympic Qualifier

  • Olympic Trials Finalist

  • World Championship Qualifiers Townley Haas & Charlie Swanson

  • World Junior Open Water championships Nathan Szobota & Will Glass

  •  National Champion's

  • USA National “A” and “B” team members

  • National Junior team selectees

  • Multiple Junior National and Junior Championships Southeast Champions

  • Multiple Top Ten Team finishes at Junior Champs

  • More individual Senior National qualifiers than any team in Virginia Swimming in the 1990’s

  • Multiple All Metro Honorees

  • Multiple All Metro Swimmers of the Year

  • Multiple National Age Group Top 16 qualifiers and honorees

  • National Age Group Record breakers  - relay and individual

  • Multiple USA Swimming High School Schoolastic All Americans

  • Multiple Virginia State Record breakers - relay and individual

  • Multiple Eastern Zones qualifiers and champions

  • Over 20 consecutive years of winning state championships

  • A tradition of leadership evidenced by an astounding percentage of NOVA swimmers going on to become captains of their college squads

As noted previously, NOVA families and swimmers also succeeded in a race that offered only their own doubts and fears as an obstacle: a race to build their own fully owned and operated Natatorium.  Thanks to these efforts, NOVA is a shining star on a local, state, regional and national level.

Flashback: Building the First NOVA Pool

Flashback: Building the Second NOVA Pool