C.T. Branin Natatorium Reveals Custom Starting Blocks at NCAA Division II National Swimming and Diving Championships

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A week prior to the NCAA Division II National Swimming and Diving Championships, C.T. Branin Natatorium installed eight custom Kiefer starting blocks that provide exceptional stability and seamless integration with the facility’s existing timing system.

On Monday, March 1st Adolph Kiefer and Associates, Inc. made a special trip to Canton, Ohio, delivering a new set of custom-designed starting blocks to C.T. Branin Natatorium. In a week the facility would be hosting the NCAA Division II National Swimming and Diving Championships. With over 500 swimmers expected to participate and room for more than 2,400 spectators, installation of the new starting blocks was essential to the event’s success.

C.T. Branin Natatorium’s Aquatics Manager Sam Seiple started researching starting block options in the Spring of 2009. Based on the noted stability of Kiefer’s anchoring system, Seiple decided on Kiefer. Unfortunately, the deck anchors at C.T. Branin were not compatible with the block Seiple selected. Rather than replace the deck anchors, Kiefer Sales Representative Jamie Gearig suggested that Kiefer design a custom block for C.T. Branin. After two prototypes and close collaboration between Seiple and Kiefer, the custom block was finalized.

A modified version of Kiefer’s state-of-the-art Surge, C.T. Branin’s custom starting block features seamless integration with the pool’s current timing system. Like the Surge, the starting block’s base is designed to house cables and connections, allowing tangle free routing and a clean pool deck. The main difference between the Surge and C.T. Branin’s starting block is that the new block was designed to accommodate C.T. Branin’s existing deck profile. The starting block was angled according to the pool’s unique gutter system. In addition, Kiefer colorized the block to match the patriotic red, white and blue color scheme of C.T. Branin Natatorium.

During a recent follow-up call, Seiple shared the positive responses he has received from swimmers regarding the starting blocks. Seiple reported that athletes are impressed with the audibility of the timing equipment starting horns due to the block’s design. “With some of the large scale events we host, it can get pretty noisy in here. The outside positioning of the horn is ideal.” In addition, the swimmers were pleased with the surface traction and the robust size of the blocks.

Seiple also expressed his personal satisfaction with Kiefer. “I have been working in this industry for more than 30 years. In that time I have never experienced the level of customer service that Kiefer provided. Jamie was unbelievable–making sure that the process went smooth every step of the way. Dave was easy to work with–willing to make design modifications until we received exactly what we wanted. It was a great team.”

Dave Gatz, Kiefer’s Product Design Manager, emphasizes the importance of Kiefer’s unique customization capabilities. According to Gatz, "Aquatic directors should not feel trapped into buying a particular block because it is the only brand that fits their gutter profile. Kiefer’s expert design team specializes in providing custom solutions so that our customers can get exactly what they are looking for, without having to tear up their deck."

In business since 1947, Adolph Kiefer and Associates, Inc. is established in the swimming community as an innovator of competitive swimming equipment including starting blocks, racing lanes, pace clocks, racing flags and stanchions. In fact, Kiefer has been supplying aquatics equipment to every Olympics for nearly 60 years. The Illinois-based company also provides aquatic facilities with lifeguard chairs, rescue tubes and rings, spine boards, head immobilizers, guard apparel, and CPR equipment. To learn more about Kiefer and the aquatic products they offer visit http://www.kiefer.com.

About Adolph Kiefer & Associates, Inc.:
Adolph Kiefer and Associates, Inc. designs, manufactures and sells competitive swimming and triathlon apparel, supplies, and equipment. Kiefer has provided the swim community with many innovative aquatic performance and safety products including the original Wave Eater racing lane, fully customizable starting blocks, lifeguard equipment and apparel, and a complete line of swimwear and goggles. In addition to reaching customers via their mail-order catalog and their online store at http://www.kiefer.com, Kiefer owns and operates eight swim shops including six in Illinois, one in Brown Deer, Wisconsin, and one in Plano, Texas.

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Kerry Andersen
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