Oct. 17, 2013
ANNAPOLIS, Md. -- The Navy swimming and diving teams will open their respective 2013-14 seasons Friday when the Midshipmen compete at UMBC in a 4 p.m. meet at the UMBC Aquatic Complex.
Navy's initial meet of the season -- a home meet on Oct. 4 against George Mason and Loyola -- was postponed due to the government shutdown. A new date for that meet has not been set.
UMBC saw both of its programs post victories over Rider this past weekend in the first meet of the year for the Retrievers.
Navy's women's team posted a 164-136 win over UMBC last season. The Mids picked up wins in nine events on their way to defeating the Retrievers for the seventh year in a row. Among returning swimmers, Ange Sawick (Jr., Abington, Pa.) won the 1000 free for the Mids, Emily Brown (So., Gainesville, Fla.) picked up the win in the 50 free and Zoe Macfarlane (So., Pensacola, Fla.) won the 200 individual medley. In addition to winning both relay events, UMBC also saw Coco Darelius win both diving boards and Erika Ronning win the 100 freestyle.
"With missing our first competition date due to government shutdown," said Navy women's swimming head coach John Morrison, "we are excited to be able to compete this week. Coach Chad Cradock will have UMBC ready to swim fast, as they always do at home. Add to the fact that we are only returning a small number of event winners from our team last year, we will need several newcomers to step up and keep the meet close. Not only will we need to find new event winners, we will need our depth to really come up big. It should be a great meet."
On the men's side, UMBC ended a seven-meet skid in the series by recording a 156-144 win over Navy one year ago. The Mids were led by Tom Duvall (So., Durham, N.H.) on the day, who won the 500 and 1000 freestyle events, Luke Hoffer (Sr., Chapel Hill, N.C.), who won the 200 breaststroke, and Jonathan DeBaugh (So., Conroe, Texas), the winner of the 200 butterfly event. Returning event winners for the Retrievers are Mohamed Hussein, who recorded victories in the 200 free, 200 IM and 100 fly events, Lauri Kaei, the winner of the 100 backstroke, Leo Endres, who picked up the win in the 100 breast, Johan Rohtla, the winner of the 200 back, and three-meter diving event-winner Andrew Eckhoff.
"The new season is underway and we are excited to compete this week," said Navy men's swimming head coach Bill Roberts
The Navy women's team tallied a 7-3 record during the 2012-13 season on its way to winning the Patriot League Championship for a second-straight year, a third time in four years and for a league-best 12th time in all. This year's roster features 23 of last year's 34 letter winners and 15 newcomers to the squad.
Six of the Mids on the team's top-10 list for individual events won during the 2012-13 regular season are back this year. Brown headlines this list as her eight victories ranked third on the team. Rachael Dudley (So., Hoschton, Ga.) tied for fourth on Navy's winners list last season with six, while Macfarlane and Morgan Nassif (So., Laguna Hills, Calif.) tied for seventh with five wins each. Rounding out the list are Ellen Bradford (So., Knoxville, Tenn.) and Rheanna Vaughn (Sr., Aliso Viejo, Calif.), both of whom won four races last year. Additionally, two of the three divers who won an event for Navy last season are back this year. Emily Saitta (So., Springfield, Va.) won two events while Julie Jesse (So., Edwardsburg, Mich.) earned one win.
Depth carried the Mids to last season's league crown as Navy totaled just six individual event titles in winning the team championship. Four of those six titles were won by Mids who were seniors last season, while the remaining two wins were attained by returning swimmers. The pair of returners for Navy are Dudley, the winner of the 500 freestyle final, and Vaughn, who won the 200 fly.
Navy's men's team posted a 6-6 record last season before winning the program's 10th Patriot League title in as many years. The Mids return 27 of their 37 letter winners from last season and have 16 new swimmers and divers on this year's roster.
Included among the returners are five of last season's top-eight Mids in terms of the most individual swimming events won during the regular season and both of the divers won an individual board a year ago. Duvall led all Navy swimmers with 19 individual event wins last season, with Hoffer second on the chart with eight wins. Hugh Davison (Sr., Towson, Md.), DeBaugh and Sean Murphy (Sr., Hudson, Ohio) each tied for sixth place on Navy's victory chart during the 2012-13 season with four wins apiece. Among Navy's divers, Ben Freedman (Sr., Kennewick, Wash.), who won nine events, and Wil Mayo (Sr., The Woodlands, Texas) who earned a pair of wins, both are back.
Seven Navy swimmers combined to win 13 individual events at the 2013 Patriot League Championship, and five of those seven are on the roster this season. This quintet of league champions who won seven titles features Davison, 50 free and 200 free; Ben Grove (Sr., Winchester, Va.), 100 breast; Brendan Walsh (Jr., Annapolis, Md.), 100 back; Conor Campbell (Sr., Manassas, Va.), 200 back; and Murphy, 200 breast.