Navy Sweeps League Swimming & Diving Titles
Feb. 20, 2010
ANNAPOLIS, Md. -- The Navy swimming and diving programs capped a successful week and season by winning both team crowns at the Patriot League Championship that concluded Saturday night in Lejeune Hall. The Navy women totaled 887 points to outdistance the field by 200 points, while the Navy men tallied 1,047 points to win the title by 401 points.
The Navy women's team picked up its first team title since 2007 and its 10th crown in the 20-year history of the Patriot League. The Navy men first began competing at the Patriot League Championship in the spring of 2004 and have won the title in each of their seven appearances at the meet.
This is just the third time in league history that one program has won both the men's and women's crowns. Navy has now accomplished the feat twice.
"This was a fantastic season for us," said Navy women's swimming head coach John Morrison. "This senior class of ours is very special. They won 50 races in four years, began their careers with a league title and now can end their careers with another. We received great leadership out of them. They kept everyone on the team focused at the task at hand and that was to put together a meet like we did this week."
"It is nice to have a little streak going, but we are always focused at the task at hand," said Navy men's swimming head coach Bill Roberts. "The goals have always been one race at a time.
"I think the story of the meet for us was how we bounced back today after a difficult session Friday night. The guys came back stellar tonight and executed really well. In couldn't have asked for more out of them tonight or all season."
Besides taking home the team titles, members of the Navy programs also won the majority of the individual awards presented at the end of the championship. Navy's Tara Chapmon became the first female swimmer in league history and the second person in the 20 years of the Patriot League to garner the swimmer-of-the-year accolade three times in a career. Chapmon, who won three individual events this year to break the league record for career individual event crowns with 10, was previously tabbed as the swimmer of the year in both 2008 and 2009.
"We are really going to miss Tara," said Morrison. "And that is as much for what she does out of the pool as in it. She leads by example. She keeps things fun for everyone, but she makes sure they all put in the work too. She is always looking to learn new things to help the team out, like her leading off the relay tonight. She is always out to improve."
The men's swimmer-of-the-year award also saw a repeat recipient as Navy's Adam Meyer won the award for the second consecutive year. He too won a trio of titles both this season and last year.
"It has been a pure joy to have Adam here," said Roberts. "I consider it an honor to say I am his coach. He is a great person who is so committed in the water. He has really raised this program."
Completing the list of Mids who won individual awards was Ben Nicholas, who was selected as the men's diver of the year.
Additionally, Navy head coach John Morrison picked up his third women's swimming coach-of-the-year laurel over the past four seasons. He previously won the accolade in both 2007 and 2008.
"I am fortunate to have such a tremendous staff to work with," said Morrison. "This award belongs as much to them as me. Rob (Lias) is a phenomenal coach at whatever task he takes on to help us improve. Rachel (Stratton) came aboard this year and really helped us a lot. Lonnie is a great trainer who helped treat a lot of injuries this season. Justin (Livezey) handles our strength work and he has really learned our sport and how to help train our swimmers.
"I also want to congratulate Bill, (assistant coach) Chris Maiello, and all of his student-athletes on the men's team. They have a great run going, but that doesn't stop them from always striving to improve themselves and get better as both a team and as individuals.
"My hat is off to our women's program," said Roberts. "They were the most improved team in the Patriot League from last year. They had an unbelievable season and a great three days here at the championship."
The final night of competition began with Navy women's team captain Tara Chapmon breaking her own Navy and Patriot League record in winning the 1650 freestyle. Her time of 16:25.55 broke her own standard of 16:26.84, gave her the victory by a whopping 26 seconds and was her third consecutive victory in the event.
The four members of the Navy men's team who competed in the timed final of the event Saturday night finished among the top five swimmers in the race. Erik Hunter won his second title in the event in as many years with a winning time of 15:11.96. Hunter finished seven seconds in front of teammate Justin Vagts (15:18.89) and 24 seconds ahead of Navy's Sam Martinette who placed third (15:35.30). Completing the foursome of Mids who took part in the event was James Lascara, who placed with time a time of 15:47.98.
Just as in the three-meter event, Navy placed a pair of its divers into the championship final of the women's one-meter springboard diving event. Army's Lindsay Adao won her second title of the meet and the fourth crown of her career with a winning score of 269.70. Finishing in sixth place for the Mids was Courtney Vandament with a score of 230.20, while Jordyn Nicholl finished one place behind Vandament with a score of 216.00 points. Additionally, Demi Trace tallied 180.35 points during the trial heats to place 12th overall.
The Navy women's team had a strong trial heat session of the 200 backstroke as four members of its team qualified for the championship final. Colgate's Lia Kunnapas won the race in a time of 1:59.58, with Bucknell's Lauren Russell finishing in second place with a time of 2:01.65. Next to finish was Navy's Kellie Darmody (2:02.31), with teammates Bryn Moriarty finishing fifth (2:02.69) and Sarah Lindberg placing seventh (2:04.68).
Sam Martinette was the lone Mid to qualify for the championship final of the men's 200 backstroke. Even though he swam without any team support, he still emerged from the pool as the event champion. Martinette posted a time of 1:47.89 to win the race by two seconds over Daniel Fletcher from Bucknell.
Thursday night, Navy's Thuy-Mi Dinh became the first female in Patriot League history to win the 50 freestyle title in each of her four years. Saturday night, she became just the second woman in league history to win a trio of 100 free crowns. Dinh recorded a time of 50.20 to win the event by nearly one second over teammate Allison Ranzau (51.05). The duo swam alongside plenty of familiar faces in the event as teammates Hollis Capuano finished in fifth place (51.61) and Daphne Williams placed seventh (52.07).
While four Mids took part in the women's 100 free final, five members of the Navy men's team competed in its championship final of the event. Aaron Aiken led all swimmers in the event with a winning time of 44.88. His effort bettered the time of teammate Mac Anthony by less than two-tenths of a second (45.07). In addition to the win by Aiken and the second-place showing by Anthony, Navy's Jack Curran finished in sixth place (46.14), Alex Buck placed seventh (46.38) and Frank Komadina finished eighth (46.47).
Navy's Marshall Daniels also put together a great time in winning the consolation final of the race. His clocking of 45.98 would have placed fourth in the championship final.
The morning trial heats of the women's 200 breaststroke saw Laura Gorinski break the Navy record in the 200 event with a time of 2:16.06. She would lower her own record by nearly three seconds in winning the championship final of the event with a time of 2:13.51. That clocking also just missed the league record by five-hundredths of a second. Also scoring points for the Mids in championship final was Tessa Snow, who placed fifth with a time of 2:21.25.
The men's 200 breaststroke also saw multiple Mids not only compete event, but finish in the top three placings. Pete Donahue won the race in a time of 2:00.50, with Andrew Utama and Joseph Stark tying for second place with an identical clocking of 2:03.25.
The final individual swimming event of the night was the 200 butterfly. Winning the women's race was Colgate's Erin McGraw with a time of 1:59.82. Her clocking broke the Patriot League record of 2:01.31. Navy placed a pair of swimmers into the event's championship final. Kalea Middendorf placed fourth for the Mids with a time of 2:05.57, while Danielle Reminger finished in sixth place with a time of 2:07.49. Also having a great effort in the event was Annika Thomas who won the consolation final. Her time of 2:04.91 would have placed her third in the championship final.
The first individual event of the championship was the 500 freestyle. The Navy men's team had the first through sixth finishers in the championship final of the event. The Mids concluded the meet in much the same way as Navy swimmers finished first, second, third and fourth in the championship final of the 200 fly. Winning his second consecutive title in the event was Adam Meyer with a time of 1:44.36. The race became a family affair as his younger brother, Mark finished in second place with a time of 1:46.74. Following the Meyer tandem were Steve Dukleth in third place (1:47.18) and Patrick Veltman in fourth (1:49.04).
After winning the one-meter title earlier in the championship, Navy's Ben Nicholas placed second to Army's Chris Nguyen by 23 points on the three-meter board Saturday night. Nguyen tallied 339.25 points to win the title, with Nicholas close behind with his total score of 316.90 points. Finishing in third place was Navy's Bryan Gentz with 307.95 points, while teammate Tanner Bosch placed fifth with a score of 259.05 points.
That left just the 400 freestyle relay events remaining, and both Navy teams would win their respective race to complete the sweep of the five relay races at the championship.
First off was the women's race and Tara Chapmon would be the first swimmer to take to the water for the Mids. Chapmon is a distance swimmer as she has won the 200, 500 and 1650 freestyle races at the league meet in each of the last three years. However, when she climbed out of the Lejeune Hall pool this evening her opening 100 freestyle time of 49.89 set a new Navy record in the event. her mark broke the standard of Thuy-Mi Dinh (49.91). There still was 300 yards of a race to be concerned about, but Chapmon had staked her teammates to a two-second lead over the rest of the field. Navy's second swimmer, Hollis Capuano, gave up a little of the advantage, but both Allison Ranzau and Thuy-Mi Dinh opened up the margin even more with their respective swims. In the end, Navy had broken the school record in the event with a winning time (by 3.6 seconds) of 3:22.18.
The men's 400 freestyle race was very similar to the women's race. The Mids led from start to finish, as did the Navy women, but instead of jumping out to large lead at the start, the Navy men produced more of a gradual victory where a slight advantage was gained at nearly every timecheck. Starting things off for the Mids was Mac Anthony, who was followed by Aaron Aiken, Marshall Daniels and Jack Curran. The foursome produced a time of 3:00.45 to win the race by 2.5 seconds.
Men's 200 Backstroke
Championship Final -- 1. Sam Martinette, 1:47.89
Consolation Final -- None
Men's 100 Freestyle
Championship Final -- 1. Aaron Aiken, 44.88; 2. Mac Anthony, 45.07; 6. Jack Curran, 46.14; 7. Alex Buck, 46.38; 8. Frank Komadina, 46.47
Consolation Final -- 9. Marshall Daniels, 45.98
1. Navy, 887; 2. Bucknell, 687; 3. Colgate, 675.5; 4. Lehigh, 317.5; 5. Army; 311.5; 6. American, 287.5; 7. Lafayette, 162; 8. Holy Cross, 155
1. Navy, 1047; 2. Bucknell, 646; 3. Army, 529; 4. Lehigh, 427; 5. Colgate, 314; 6. American, 209; 7. Lafayette, 194; 8. Holy Cross, 117
Swimming Coach of the Year
Women -- John Morrison, Navy
Men -- Dan Schinnerer, Bucknell
Diving Coach of the Year
Ron Kontura, Army
Diver of the Year
Women -- Lindsay Adao, Army
Men -- Ben Nicholas, Navy