Navy Moves into First Place at League Swim-Dive Meet
LEWISBURG, Pa. –– The Navy swimming and diving teams each won a pair of events Thursday at the Patriot League Championship to catapult both programs into first place with two days of the meet still to be contested. By the end of the day, the Navy women held a 60-point advantage over second-place Boston U. (299-239) and the Navy men held a 29-point edge on second-place Army West Point (275-246).
Both Navy teams entered the first full day of the championship with ground to makeup –– the women were in third place 38 points in back of the Terriers and the men were in ninth place 46 points behind the Black Knights due in part to the Mids being disqualified in one of Wednesday’s relay finals –– and each put together strong mornings to do just that. Navy’s women’s team advanced 11 swimmers to the championship finals in its three events while the men sent 12 swimmers and divers to the championship final in its four events.
“I didn’t have to say too much last night after the first session,” said Navy men’s swimming head coach Bill Roberts. “The guys knew what was at stake today. I couldn’t be more proud with how they responded, both this morning and then backing it up this evening.”
“It was a solid morning for us,” said Navy women’s swimming head coach John Morrison. “I was pleased that we fought so hard. We left some areas that needed to be improved upon, but we were able to clean those up at night.”
Navy’s women’s team promptly went 1-2 in the first two finals of the night. Charlotte Meyer (Sr., Bethesda, Md.) won the 500 freestyle final in a time of 4:48.40, a clocking that edged teammate Maddie Runge (Fr., Cochranville, Pa.) for the win by four-hundredths of a second. Lauren Barber (So., New Wilmington, Pa.) would then win the 200 individual medley final for the second year in a row with her posting of 1:57.93. That effort gave her the victory by nearly four seconds over teammate and second-place swimmer Kaitlyn O’Reilly (Jr., Farmington, Minn.).
A pair of Navy swimmers would tie for fourth place in the final women’s individual event of the night, the 50 free. Kenzie Margroum (Sr., Fort Thomas, Ky.) and Olivia Morrell (Sr., Albuquerque, N.M.) each posted a time of 23.18 to share the fourth-place finish.
The Navy men began Thursday night by placing fourth, fifth, seventh and eighth in the 500 freestyle. Shane Condon (Sr., Mechanicsville, Va.) was the top finisher in the event for the Mids with his time of 4:31.59, with Nick Pfanstiel (So., Fishers, Ind.) placing just behind him. Vince Everman (So., Philadelphia, Pa.) would go on to place third in the 200 IM final with his time of 1:47.67. Joining him in the final was teammate Marlin Brutkiewicz (Sr., Mobile, Ala.), who placed sixth.
Two more Mids reached the championship final of the 50 free. Joseph Jaime (Jr., San Antonio, Texas) recorded a time of 20.14 to place fourth, one spot ahead of Zach Piedt’s (So., Fort Mill, S.C.) time of 20.35.
The Navy men won its first event of the championship in the lone diving final that was contested this evening. Bradley Buchter (Fr., Hickory, N.C.) recorded a score of 386.10 to win the one-meter board by 86 points. Finishing in third place in the event was teammate Nash Nickerson (Fr., Doylestown, Pa.).
“It was a good overall day for the divers,” said Navy diving coach Rich MacDonald. “We had a great morning with Bradley breaking the pool, league and school record with his score of 418.65 points. Nate Belch (Jr., Tucson, Ariz.) had a rough final (placed sixth), but I am sure he will bounce back and have a great three-meter day Saturday. I was really proud of the way our freshmen handled the pressure of diving at night in the finals. It was a good start for the men and we are looking forward to the rest of the weekend.”
Navy would cap the evening by sweeping the 400 medley relay finals. O’Reilly, Barber, Hannah Briant (So., Brielle, N.J.) and Morrell posted a time of 3:40.75 to win the women’s edition of the final by eight-tenths of a second. Afterward, the Navy men broke the meet record in winning its final in a time of 3:10.35. The effort of Ethan King (Sr., Collierville, Tenn.), Brutkiewicz, Ryan Bailey (Sr., Boardman, Ohio) and Jaime bettered the previous standard of 3:10.70 that was set last year by another foursome of Mids, and gave them a three-second margin of victory over Army.
“Every meet plays out a little differently,” said Roberts. “Today, our guys really zeroed in on the moment. They took it one heat, one final and one session at a time. We need to continue doing that both Friday and Saturday. The same mindset we began today with needs to be on the pool deck for us again tomorrow.”
“It was good to see us make the necessary adjustments from one session to another,” said Morrison. “We want to continue to improve, and need to. We were pleased that we could turn our negative score from last night into a positive by the end of the day.”
Competition at the championship continues Friday and Saturday.
Women - Team Rankings - Through Event 14
1. U.S. Naval Academy - 299
2. Boston University - 239
3. Army - 196
4. Lehigh University - 182
5. Bucknell University - 149
6. Loyola University - 95
7. American University - 87
8. Colgate University - 72
9. College of the Holy Cross - 63
10. Lafayette College - 42
Men - Team Rankings - Through Event 14
1. U.S. Naval Academy - 275
2. Army - 246
3. Boston University - 205.5
4. Bucknell University - 158
5. Lehigh University - 150.5
6. Loyola University - 95
7. Colgate University - 82
8. College of the Holy Cross - 79
9. American University - 51
10. Lafayette College - 50