Jan. 25, 2014
ANNAPOLIS, Md. – The Navy swimming and diving teams were swept on Saturday by Penn State at Lejeune Hall. Taking on the 23rd-ranked PSU men’s team, the 24th-ranked Mids fell by a 171-127 mark, while the women suffered a 193-99 setback to the Nittany Lions.
On the strength of six event wins, the men were within striking distance throughout, but were unable to pull out the victory at the end.
“Overall, we hoped to have a closer score, but we know Penn State is very, very good,” said Navy men’s swimming head coach Bill Roberts after the meet. “There were a few races that we hoped to make a little closer and give us an opportunity to possibly win, but we just didn’t get those needed results.”
Leading the way for the men’s team was it’s only two-event winner Thomas Duvall (Durham, N.C.). The sophomore earned victories in both of the distance freestyle events as he cruised to a 2.09-second win at 9:19.89 in the 1000-yd race before following it up with 1.49-second victory at 4:31.05 in the 500-yd event.
“Tom Duvall was strong once again,” said Roberts. “He had two solid races and was in control throughout both of the distance events.”
The Mids earned two wins by two different swimmers in breaststroke action as Sean Murphy (Sr., Hudson, Ohio) won the 100-yd race with a time of 55.31, while Luke Hoffer (Sr., Chapel Hill, N.C.) took the 200-yd variety at 2:01.39. Hoffer’s win was in comeback fashion as the senior was in third place at the 150-yd mark before swimming a 30.35 final 50 to edge PSU’s Chris Cipolla by 0.13 seconds.
“The breaststroke duo of Murphy and Hoffer were really strong for us today” said Roberts. “They had two close races where they squeaked out wins. Luke had a great come-from-behind victory in the 200.”
(So., Conroe, Texas) was the final winner for the men in swimming action as he won the 200-yd butterfly by 0.22 seconds at 1:49.24.
In diving action, Ben Freedman (Sr., Kennewick, Wash.) improved on his second place standing in the three-meter competition to a victory in the 1-meter board. The senior dove to a narrow 0.60-point victory over PSU’s T.J. Schenkel 331.73 to 331.13.
Hanna Gillcrist (Burlington, Ky.) was the highest finishing Mid for the women’s team as she took second place in the 100-yd breaststroke. In a tightly contested race, the freshman held off a pair of PSU swimmers, who finished within 0.76 seconds, including Taylor Cameron, who was just 0.07-seconds behind in third.
In sprint freestyle action, Olivia Morrell (Fr., Albuquerque, N.M.) had a pair of strong efforts as she took third place in the 50-yd race at 24.36 and third in the 100-yd race at 53.03.
Julie Jesse (So., Edwardsburg, Mich.) led Navy’s diving squad with back-to-back third place finishes in the 1-meter (263.03 points) and 3-meter (247.8) boards.
“I’m pleased with the meet,” said Navy women’s swimming head coach John Morrison. “We could have done better, but it was good for the seniors to go out and race hard. We had some bright spots today and saw some fast times so that’s definitely a good sign as we begin our preparation for the upcoming championship season.”
The teams will be in action on Wednesday, Jan. 29 when they host Johns Hopkins. The Mids and Blue Jays will begin competition at 5 p.m. in Lejeune Hall.