Navy Men Win, Women Place Second at League Swim Meet
Feb. 21, 2009
LEWISBURG, Pa. -- A record-setting performance by Adam Meyer (Jr., Bethesda, Md.) capped the efforts for the Navy men's and women's swimming team at the 2009 Patriot League Championship that came to a close Saturday night. The Navy men's team won its sixth team title in as many years of competing at the meet, while the Navy women's program placed a solid second at the three-day meet that was held at Kinney Natatorium in Lewisburg, Pa.
The Navy men's team tallied 1,031.5 points at the championship to distance themselves from second-place Bucknell by just under 400 points (635). The final tally by the Mids breaks the record of 1,009 set by Army at the 1997 league championship when six teams competed at the meet.
"This has been a special meet for all of us," said Navy men's swimming head coach Bill Roberts, who was selected as the 2009 Patriot League Men's Coach of the Year. "For us to to what we did took a total team effort. I give our guys so much credit for what they were able to accomplish this weekend."
Colgate won its second consecutive women's team crown at the championship with 862 points. Navy matched its performance of last year with a second-place showing of 759.5 points, while championship-host Bucknell finished in third place with 656.5 points.
"We had a good final night to finish a strong championship for us," said Navy women's swimming head coach John Morrison. "Tonight was a similar story to what took place over the first two days for us. We set a number of school records and had personal best times in pretty much every race from every swimmer. We're disappointed we didn't win, but not with how we performed."
The final individual swimming event race of the three-day meet was the championship final of the men's 200 butterfly, and Adam Meyer definitely saved his best for last. Meyer had previously won the 200 individual medley and 100 butterfly titles this week with Navy and league records and with NCAA `B' cut qualifying times in both of his wins. Saturday morning in the trial heats of the 200 fly, he cruised to the top finishing time of 1:45.01, which was another NCAA `B' cut and gave everyone a taste of what could come in the final.
Meyer began the final by posting a time of 22.78 over the opening 50 yards of the race, which gave him a sizeable 1.1-second advantage over the rest of the field. He then recorded the best splits over each of the remaining 50 yards of the race to give him a 3.4-second victory (over teammate and younger brother Mark's second-place time of 1:45.92) and post an NCAA `A' cut qualifying time of 1:42.54.
His time bettered the automatic qualifying time of 1:42.95, which guarantees Meyer, the opportunity to competed at the 2009 NCAA Championship Meet, March 26-28 in College Station, Texas. He becomes the first automatic qualifier for Navy since Noah White accomplished the feat five years ago.
Additionally, Meyer was tabbed as the 2009 Patriot League Men's Swimmer of the Year.
"Adam's race was electric," said Roberts. "The place was buzzing as soon as his first splits were displayed. He got ahead of the pace he wanted early and his stroke held up over the rest of the race. After seeing him close to an `A' cut all year, it is great to see him accomplish finally it."
Navy's Tara Chapmon (Jr., Virginia Beach, Va.) closed out the meet Saturday by winning her third title in as many days. Just as she did at the 2008 league meet, Chapmon won the 200, 500 and 1,650 freestyle titles. Also, just as she did last year, Chapmon was selected as the 2009 Patriot League Women's Swimmer of the Year.
"Tara had three fantastic swims this week and her final race was one of her best," said Morrison. "It was a great effort by her all week."
"I was so nervous heading into the final tonight," said Chapmon. "I knew that my last 50 is my best 50, so I just wanted to stay close until that point of the race. However, I was feeling pretty good after about 500 yards, so I just went.
"Everyone on the team swam so well this week for us. Every race was exciting and it was amazing to see some of the times everyone was able to put up."
Additional Mids garnering major individual awards were Olaf Olson (So., Bainbridge Island, Wash.), who was tabbed as the men's diver of the meet, and Mac Anthony (Fr., Allentown, Pa.), who was selected as the men's rookie of the meet.
1. Colgate, 862 points
2. Navy, 759.5
3. Bucknell, 656.5
4. American, 315.5
5. Army, 303
6. Lehigh, 262.5
7. Lafayette, 180
8. Holy Cross, 144
1. Navy, 1031.5 points
2. Bucknell, 635
3. Army, 596
4. Lehigh, 357.5
5. Colgate 353
6. Lafayette, 202
7. American, 141
8. Holy Cross, 123
Navy's Tara Chapmon set a Navy and Patriot League record of 16:34.63 on her way to winning the 1,650 freestyle at the Saturday night. She entered the 2009 championship with the top time of the regular season, but her top clocking was just 1.5 seconds ahead of Colgate's Erica Derlath.
Derlath posted times of 27.47 and 29.50 over her first 100 yards of Saturday's timed final, marks that were almost identical to those recorded by Chapmon (27.65, 29.49). Chapmon would go on to post 50-yard split times below 30 seconds 11 more times over the remainder of the race, while Derlath only dropped below 30 seconds on her final 50 yards of the race. That allowed Chapmon to win her second consecutive title in the event -- and her third event crown this year -- with a new record time of 16:26.84. Derlath would finish in second place second 13 seconds later.
Chapmon was one of five Mids to tally points for Navy in the timed final.
1. Tara Chapmon, 16:26.84 (Navy, P.L., P.L. Champ. record); 6. Erika Hubbard, 17:15.95; 12. Lauren Milliron, 17:32.44; 13. Katherine Jones, 17:44.73; 14. Clare McKenna, 17:57.26
Erik Hunter consistently posted the fastest 50-yard split times of anyone in the race on his way to establishing a new school and league record time in winning the 1,650 freestyle by nearly 22 seconds. It was his third event title of the 2009 league meet. His time of 14:58.72 not only broke his own Patriot League record (15:27.49), it also broke the 17-year old school record of 15:25.61 set by Eric Winter in 1992. It was the oldest school record at Navy.
Defending league champion and 2008 league diver of the year Jon Galinski posted the top score in the preliminary round of diving on the one-meter springboard Saturday, but in the end he was edged for the title by less than six points by teammate Olaf Olson. Galinski's score of 342.70 Saturday afternoon during the opening round of diving was the best in the field by 54 points (Olson, 288.70). In the final, however, Olson accrued 345.20 points to outdistance Galinski's tally of 339.60 to allow him to claim second board title of the meet. Galinski's total score of 339.60 points gave him a 75-point cushion over the rest of the field.
One day after breaking the Navy record in the 100 backstroke, Jennie Spencer broke her own school record in the 200 backstroke. She posted a time of 2:00.46 to break her own mark of 2:01.72 set three years ago at the league championship. Her clocking during Saturday's trial heat was the No. 4 time of the preliminary round of racing. Spencer would record a time of 2:01.93 Saturday night to place sixth in the championship final behind Erin McGraw's (Colgate) new league record time of 1:58.77.
Joining Spencer in the final was teammate Natalie Albertson, who placed seventh.
Andrew Hetzner posted the fastest 50-yard split times during each of the four segments of Saturday's 200 backstroke final to win the race by nearly four seconds. Hetzner's time of 1:45.35 broke the Navy and league record in the event (1:45.62, Navy's Kevin Mukri) and made him just the third swimmer over the last 14 years to sweep both backstroke titles at the league championship.
Thuy-Mi Dinh won the 100 freestyle at the 2008 league championship in a school and league record time before going on to compete in the event at the NCAA Championship and last summer's U.S. Olympic Team Trials. After placing second to Colgate's Ashley Bottger by 14-hundredth of a second in Saturday's trial heat, Dinh again placed second to Bottger in the championship final of the event Saturday night. Bottger established a new league record in winning the event with a time of 49.87, with Dinh placing second in a time of 50.38.
After placing first and second in the championship final of the 200 freestyle Friday, Navy's Mac Anthony and Aaron Aiken reprised their finish in the final of the 100 free Saturday. Aiken held a two-hundredth of a second advantage over Anthony at the midpoint of the race, but Anthony had a great back half of the race to edge Aiken for the title by 11-hundredth of a second.
Mallory Dietrich was one of four swimmers to break the league record in the 200 breaststroke Saturday during the trial heats for the event. Dietrich's time broke the previous school and league record of 2:17.26 set by Aubra Thomas four years ago. However, that clocking ranked Dietrich fourth among all swimmers heading into the final. Colgate's Emily Murphy, who posted the top time of 2:14.30 in the trial heats, lowered the standard in the event even more with her winning time of 2:13.46. Dietrich would hold her seed from the morning with her fourth-place time of 2:17.71 in the final.
Army's James McLaughlin made it a clean sweep of the breaststroke events at the league meet with his winning time of 2:02.04 in the championship final of the event Saturday night. Andrew Utama was the lone Navy swimmer to compete in the championship final, and he tied Lehigh's Kevin McGrath for second place in the race with a time of 2:03.26.
A trio of Mids qualified for the championship final of the 200 butterfly Saturday night. Kelly Zahalka, who won the title in the event in each of the past two years and who holds the school record of 2:02.77, led the Navy swimmers with a fifth-place time of 2:05.69. Her teammates Tessa Snow and Cate Sheerin followed in sixth and seventh place, respectively.
Caren Guyett broke the league record in the event with her winning time of 2:01.31.
In addition to Adam Meyer's historic swim and Mark Meyer's second-place time, Mids also placed third and fourth in the event. Patrick Veltman followed Mark Meyer's finish by one second, with Jesse Cohen placing fourth just 15-hundredth of a second behind Cohen.
Additionally, it was the fifth race of the championship in which Navy swimmers finished first, second, third and fourth.
1. Adam Meyer, 1:42.54 (NCAA `A' cut time; Navy, P.L., P.L. Champ. record); 2. Mark Meyer, 1:45.92; 3. Patrick Veltman, 1:46.90; 4. Jesse Cohen, 1:47.06
Army's Lindsey Adao won her second board of the championship with a win on the three meter Saturday night, but she had to edge a trio of Mids for the title. Adao posted a score of 255.45 during the finals, which allowed her to best Desiree' Robison by six points, Carmen Meier by eight points and Courtney Vandament by 14 points.
400 Freestyle Relay
Colgate made it a clean sweep of the five relay events with a victory in the 400 freestyle Saturday night. The Raiders established a new league mark in the event with their winning time of 3:20.55. Navy's foursome broke the school record with a second-place clocking of 3:24.64, a mark that also broke the previous league standard.
Navy closed the meet just as it had started it, with a victory in a relay event. The Mids posted a time of 2:58.39 in winning the 400 freestyle relay by a little more than three seconds over second-place Colgate (3:01.75) to give the Mids wins in each of the five relay events at the 2009 championship.
Navy has won this event in five of the six years it has competed at the league championship.