Navy to Play Host to League Swimming & Diving Meet
ANNAPOLIS, Md. –– The Navy swimming and diving teams will look to continue their respective runs of success at the Patriot League Championship this week when the Mids play host to the meet in Lejeune Hall.
The four-day championship begins Wednesday with diving trials at 2 p.m. and an abbreviated session of two relay and one diving event finals at 6 p.m. The remainder of the meet will feature swimming trial heats daily at 10 a.m. to be followed immediately by diving trials (approximately 1 p.m.), with a session of combined swimming and diving finals slated to begin nightly at 6 p.m.
The Navy women’s team has won each of the last six league titles and a sport-best 16 championships. Those 16 titles leave the Mids one shy of tying the league all-sport record of 17 won by both the Bucknell women’s indoor track & field team and the Army men’s outdoor track & field team (Bucknell’s women’s outdoor track and field team also has won 16 titles). Navy totaled 868.5 points to win last year’s league championship by 331 points over second-place Army.
“We set our sights all year on winning the league title,” said Navy women’s head coach John Morrison, who has guided the Mids to eight league championships and has earned six league coach-of-the-year honors himself in his 14 seasons. “With great senior leadership keeping our team motivated throughout the season, we were able to put together a really good year of training. We are very proud of what these women have accomplished thus far, and we look forward to some incredible performances this week.
“It is awesome to be competing at home. Lejeune Hall raises the performance level of our men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams. The electric environment, the training and the goal of winning championships will certainly bring out the very best in our teams.”
Navy’s men’s team has won the league title in each of the 14 seasons the Mids have vied for the crown. The league record for the most consecutive titles won in a sport is 16 (Army, men’s outdoor track & field, 1992-2007). Last year’s championship saw the Mids edge Army by 50 points in what was one of closest meets in league history. Navy totaled 846 points over the course of the four days to narrowly defeat the Black Knights.
“Conference championships are a major focal point of the Navy swimming and diving program”, said Navy men’s swimming head coach and eight-time league coach of the year Bill Roberts. “February and March are when we get to put a year’s worth of sacrifice, struggle, training and teamwork on the line along with our fellow Patriot League programs. Our goal is to compete as one, to compete with true passion and pride to hopefully draw closer to reaching our individual and program potential.”
Navy’s women’s team returns nine of its 14 all-league honorees from a year ago, including half of the 2017 squad’s first-team all-league recipients. Included among the returners are last year’s league swimmer of the year Lauren Barber (Jr., New Wilmington, Pa.) and league rookie of the year Delaney Walz (So., Mays Landing, N.J.). Barber totaled seven event wins –– four relay titles plus the 200 IM and both breaststroke events –– at last season’s championship while Walz swept the butterfly finals and was a consolation finalist in the 500 freestyle a season ago.
Navy’s additional returning individual event champion is Kaitlyn O’Reilly (Sr., Farmington, Minn.), who won the 200 backstroke, and rounding out the returning first-team all-league recipients is Casey Lawson (Jr., Spring Lake Heights, N.J.), who placed second in the 200 free for her highest placement at the meet.
The Navy men return 10 of its 14 all-league honorees from last year, which includes three of the team’s five first-team recipients. Heading that trio is Bradley Buchter (So., Hickory, N.C.), who won both boards to earn diver-of-the-year accolades on his way to qualifying for the NCAA Championship. He is joined by fellow returning first teamers Vince Everman (Jr., Philadelphia, Pa.), the silver medalist in the 200 IM last year, and Joseph Jaime (Sr., San Antonio, Texas), who won the 200 free and placed second in the 100 free at the 2017 championship.
Session Schedule Wednesday, Feb. 14 2 p.m. - Diving Trials 6 p.m. - Swimming & Diving Finals Thursday, Feb. 15 - Friday, Feb. 16 - Saturday, Feb. 17 10 a.m. - Swimming Trials 1 p.m. - Diving Trials 6 p.m. - Swimming & Diving Finals
Multimedia Information Live results from each session of the championship that includes swimming can be found at NavySports.com. Also, Stadium TV will be providing a free video stream of the meet in its entirety through the Patriot League Network, and those links can be found at NavySports.com. Note that there is a different link for the video stream for each session of the championship.
Ticket Information Wednesday’s sessions will be free for everyone who wishes to attend. Tickets will be required for admission to each of the remaining three days of the meet. An all-session pass can be purchased for $50, a ticket for a single session of finals is $15 and a ticket for one of the preliminary sessions is $10. Tickets can be purchased in advance at NavySports.com –– click on the TICKETS dropdown in the masthead, select “Order Tickets Online” and scroll to the meet on the resulting page –– or by calling 1-800-US4-NAVY. Tickets also will be available for in person purchase prior to the start of each session on the second floor of Lejeune Hall.
Students currently attending one of the 10 Patriot League institutions will be admitted for free upon displaying their school identification card at the ticket booth in Lejeune Hall.
All seating within the 1,000-seat venue is general admission and available on a first come, first serve basis.
USNA Access Information All ticket holders without a Department of Defense identification card must park their vehicle outside of the USNA grounds. Fans are strongly encouraged to park at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium ($5. per vehicle) and ride the free shuttle bus to and from the meet. Shuttle bus service will begin one hour prior to the start of each session Wednesday through Saturday and end approximately one hour after the final event of the session finishes (except Saturday night when it will end one hour after the final team awards are presented). Those fans wishing to park downtown must enter the USNA through the gate one visitors center entrance.
Whether a visitor rides the shuttle bus to the USNA or walks through one of its gates, everyone age 18 and must have and be prepared to display a valid picture ID card (i.e.: State issued driver’s license, student I.D., or a government issued passport). Visitors ages 17 and under who do not have a valid picture ID card must be escorted by an adult.