Cal Poly has been accepted as an affiliate member of the Pacific-10 Conference for the sport of men’s swimming and diving, beginning with the upcoming 2010-11 academic year.

The Mustangs have competed in the Big West Conference since the 1996-97 season, but the Big West has discontinued the sport following the departure of Cal State Northridge, reducing the number of schools competing in men’s swimming to four.

Along with Cal Poly, UC Santa Barbara also will join the Pac-10 in men’s swimming. The Pac-10 Council, following the recommendation of the Senior Women Administrators Committee (SWAC), approved the addition of the Mustangs and Gauchos for one year by e-mail vote last week and the Pac-10 made the official announcement Monday.

The Pac-10 Men’s Swimming Championship will be held March 2-5, 2011, at the Belmont Plaza Olympic Pool in Long Beach, Calif. Diving will be held as part of the Pac-10 Women’s Swimming Championships on Feb. 23-26, 2011, at the Weyerhaeuser King County Aquatics Complex in Federal Way, Wash.

Cal Poly’s third-place team finish in the Big West Conference Championships last February at Belmont Plaza was its highest ever in Division-I. The Mustangs were paced by Peter Kline, who won two events and qualified for the NCAA Division-I National Championships in three events. Matt Waggoner also won two Big West titles.

UC Santa Barbara finished second in the Big West Championships. The Gauchos have captured 26 Big West titles in men’s swimming over the last 34 years.

Last month, the Cal Poly women’s swimming and diving team was accepted as a member of the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation.

Cal Poly also is an affiliate member of the Pac-10 Conference in wrestling.

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