Navy Remains Atop League Swimming & Diving Standings
LEWISBURG, Pa. –– The Navy swimming and diving teams combined to win seven events on the day to remain in first place at the Patriot League Championship Friday at Kinney Natatorium in Lewisburg, Pa. The Navy women were able to extend their lead out to 200.5 points over second-place Army West Point, while the Navy men hold a 34-point lead over the second-place Black Knights.
Navy’s women’s team opened today with a 60-point lead, while the men began Friday in first place by 29 points.
“We started off today much better than we did Thursday,” said Navy women’s swimming head coach John Morrison. “I’m really proud of the way we prepared and got ready to race today.”
“We had one of the best morning sessions I can remember us having at this championship,” said Navy men’s swimming head coach Bill Roberts. “That effort reflected the hard work this team has put in all season long. We had a hard time this evening repeating not only our times but our placings from this morning, though. We know within a meet there are ups-and-downs that you have to overcome. We showed a lot of composure this evening.”
Navy swimmers placed second in the opening event of the night for both the women and the men, the 400 individual medley. Kaitlyn O’Reilly (Jr., Farmington, Minn.) posted a time of 4:20.90 to finish three seconds in back of event winner Bridget Ritter from Army in the women’s race, while Brayden Lauffer (So., Apex, N.C.) was edged by Army’s Jay Yang for the win by just nine-hundredths of a second (3:49.51-3:49.60).
The Mids then claimed the next five races. Delaney Walz (Fr., Mays Landing, N.J.) started the run with her victory in the 100 fly. Walz posted a time of 54.44 to win the race by one-quarter of a second.
“That was a heck of a race by Delaney,” said Morrison. “We’re real proud of her, and with her best event still to come we are looking for her to have a great Saturday.”
Men’s team captain Ryan Bailey (Sr., Youngstown, Ohio) matched Walz’s showing as he claimed the men’s edition of the race with a clocking of 47.47. He touched the wall 66-hundredths of a second ahead of the second-place swimmer.
“Ryan is such a good representative of our program and the USNA as a whole,” said Roberts. “He is a leader on this team and in the classroom. Everyone on the team could not be happier for him to get that title.”
Charlotte Meyer (Sr., Bethesda, Md.) earned her second victory of the championship with her clocking of 1:47.59 in the 200 freestyle final. Placing second in the event was teammate Casey Lawson (So., Spring Lake Heights, N.J.) with a time of 1:47.62.
“That was a great win for Charlotte,” said Morrison. “She has barely competed in this event in her career, and it is about her No. 4 or No. 5 event. For her to come out get a personal best time in tonight was great.”
Joseph Jaime (Jr., San Antonio, Texas) added to Navy’s victory total with his win in the 200 freestyle. Jaime recorded a time of 1:36.59 to finish first by 1.3 seconds.
“Joseph’s win was special,” said Roberts. “He had a time in Wednesday’s 800 free relay that didn’t reflect what he is capable of doing. He made some adjustments, dug deep and produced a great win tonight.”
Navy’s women’s team then placed first, second and third in the 100 breaststroke final. Lauren Barber (So., New Wilmington, Pa.) earned her second individual event title of this championship and fifth in her two years with a time of 1:00.93. Placing second was Elyse MacIsaac (Fr., Stafford, Va.) with a time of 1:02.21 and touching the wall in third was Hanna Gillcrist (Sr., Burlington, Ky.) with her clocking of 1:02.63.
“Lauren had a good morning swim,” said Morrison, “but she was fine-tuning some things right up until her final tonight. She really came to life in the final and we expect her to have a big Saturday too.”
Marlin Brutkiewicz (Sr., Mobile, Ala.) placed second for the Navy men in the 100 breast final with his posting of 53.32. He finished one-half of a second in back of Loyola’s Ben Cono.
The last individual event of the night was the 100 backstroke, and Ally Warnimont (So., Winston-Salem, N.C.) was the top finisher in the event for the Navy women with her time of 55.91. Ethan King (Sr., Collierville, Tenn.) would place second for Navy in the men’s final with his time of 48.42. He finished just under seven-tenths of a second behind event winner Chris Devlin from Bucknell.
Two days after placing eighth in the women’s three-meter diving final, Navy’s Madison Keiser (Fr., Southlake, Texas) improved upon that performance in the one-meter event as she placed second. Her score of 268.00 was just 21.45 points behind Kyra Tatlow of Boston U. and qualified her for the NCAA Zone Diving Championship.
“Madison put together two of her best lists of the year in prelims and in finals,” said Navy diving coach Rich MacDonald. “I couldn’t be more proud of her performance tonight. It is very difficult to hold one of the top spots going into finals and she did just that.”
“Great showing by Madison tonight, and really all week,” said Morrison. “That is a great effort for someone competing at their first league meet.”
The Navy teams closed the evening by sweeping the 200 freestyle relay finals. The women’s team of Olivia Morrell (Sr., Albuquerque, N.M.), Hannah Briant (So., Brielle, N.J.), Warnimont and Kenzie Margroum (Sr., Fort Thomas, Ky.) combined for a pool-record time of 1:31.36 to win the race by 1.06 seconds.
“It was a great relay, right from the start,” said Morrison. “Olivia and Hannah were both under 23 seconds after never having done that before. It was two fantastic legs and Ally and Kenzie just carried through with it. That effort closed out a great day for us.”
The Navy men’s foursome of Jaime, Zach Piedt (So., Fort Mill, S.C.), Connor Davis (Jr., Shelton, Conn.) and Michael Bundas (Srt., Saline, Mich.) also broke the pool record with their clocking of 1:19.18, which gave them the victory by just over one-half of a second.
“There were four teams that had a real shot at winning the race,” said Roberts. “The lead changed hands several times, and we were anywhere from first to fourth in it. We showed a lot with being able to come away with the win. What a great way to end the evening.”
The championship ends Saturday with five individual swimming events, the men’s three-meter diving event and the 400 freestyle relays.
“We want to have another good morning,” said Morrison. “We’re not just racing to get into the finals, we are competing to get the lanes we want in the finals. To do so, we have to come ready to compete once again.”
“We need to have a great morning session again,” said Roberts. “We know what is at stake and what we have to do. Now, we have to produce the performance.”
Women - Team Rankings - Through Event 27
1. Navy - 602
2. Army - 401.5
3. Boston University - 396
4. Bucknell University - 334.5
5. Lehigh University - 323
6. Loyola University - 159
7. American University - 134
8. Colgate University - 126
9. College of the Holy Cross - 82
10. Lafayette College - 64
Men - Team Rankings - Through Event 27
1. Navy - 542
2. Army - 508
3. Boston University - 337.5
4. Bucknell University - 297
5. Lehigh University - 228.5
6. Loyola University - 163
7. Colgate University - 109
8. College of the Holy Cross - 103
9. Lafayette College - 74
10. American University - 72