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Strong Opening Day for Navy at League Swimming & Diving Meet

Kellie Darmody

Feb. 21, 2013

Final Stats

LEWISBURG, Pa. – The Navy swimming and diving teams combined to win seven events and concluded the first day of the Patriot League Championship atop their respective standings.  The women’s team tallied 223 points on the day and leads second-place Colgate by 56 points, while the Navy men tallied 303 points to lead second-place Army by 98 points.

The first night of finals began with Army edging Navy for the victory in the women’s 200 freestyle relay event.  The Black Knights posted a time of 1:33.00 to better the second-place clocking of 1:33.05 attained by the Mids.

Navy then had a great showing in the 500 freestyle as six of the top-11 finishers between the consolation and championship finals were Mids.  Navy’s Rachael Dudley posted a time of 4:50.01 to win the event by one-quarter of a second over Bucknell’s Kelly Pontecorvo.  Dudley’s teammate, Ange Sawick, who won this event one year ago, finished in third place with a time of 4:52.87.  Joining Dudley and Sawick in the final was Navy’s Rheanna Vaughn, who placed eighth (4:58.14).

Laura Gorinski entered the 2013 meet as the defending champion in a trio of individuals.  She would not only repeat her 2012 title in the 200 individual medley, but with the victory also become the first swimmer in the league since Navy’s Melissa Hawley (1999, 2001, 2002) to win the event three times in a career.  Gorinski won the final tonight with a time of 2:01.38.  Placing second in the event was teammate Kellie Darmody in a time of 2:03.31, with fellow Mid Ellen Bradford finishing in seventh place with a clocking of 2:05.68.

Navy placed just one swimmer into the final of the 50 freestyle.  Maddie Thompson (23.35) would finish in second place to Army’s Molly Mucciarone (23.35), while Navy’s Toni Paruso won the consolation final in a time of 23.62.

The Navy women’s team closed its portion of the evening with an impressive victory in the 400 medley relay.  Kellie Darmody, Gorinski, Toni Paruso and Thompson combined to post a time of 3:42.37 and win the event by nearly three seconds over second-place Colgate.

“We swam this morning like we didn’t want to lose,” said Navy head coach John Morrison, “but we swam tonight like we wanted to win.  We did what we needed to do today, and that was to set us up for the rest of the meet.  To have fewer swims than Colgate and Bucknell (13 for the Mids, 15 for both the Raiders and Bison) did today and still come out with a lead is a great start for us.”

On the men’s side, Navy recorded the fastest time in the final, but were disqualified due to one of its swimmers leaving the blocks seven-hundredths of a second too soon.  That ended a streak of 22-consecutive relay events at the league championship that were won by the Mids.

Whereas the Navy women advanced six swimmers into the two finals of the 500 free, the Navy men’s team qualified six swimmers for the championship final of the event.  Justin Vagts, the defending champion in the 500 free, led a 1-2-3-4-5-6 finish for the Mids with his winning time of 4:20.77.  Following behind Vagts were, in order, Tom Duvall (4:21.94), Alex Nickell (4:24.85), Riley Mita (4:25.00), Luke Hoffer (4:28.98) and Jonathan DeBaugh (4:29.29).

Ben Bondurant, the two-time defending champion in the 200 individual medley, extended his winning streak in the event to three years by recording a time of 1:47.94 to win the event final this evening.  His time allowed him to edge teammate Joseph Stark by three-tenths of a second for the victory.  Also advancing into the final from Navy were Ben Grove in fifth place (1:50.75) and Conor Campbell in sixth (1:51.56).

Hugh Davison did not compete in the 50 free for Navy during the 2012 championship, but did place second in the 200 free.  Tonight, he recorded a time of 20.21 to win the 50 free and earn his first Patriot League title.  Davison won the final by 14-hundredths of a second over Lehigh’s Chris Hoke, with Hoke’s teammate, Demetrios Karedis, finishing in third place.  Placing immediately behind Karedis was the Navy trio of Robbie Parker, Danny Quinn and Dan Bowden.

The lone schools represented in the men’s three-meter diving final were Army and Navy.  The Mids saw Wil Mayo place fourth (270.05), Joe Esposito place fifth (254.55) amd Ben Freedman place eighth (333.45).

The Mids bounced back from their miscue in the opening event of the night by winning the closing 400 medley relay race by nearly five seconds.  Navy’s foursome of Brendan Walsh, Sean Murphy, Bondurant and Davison recorded a time of 3:13.81 to finish well in front of Army’s second-place time of 3:18.68.

“The story of the night was how the guys responded to the disappointment of the opening relay,” said Navy men’s swimming head coach Bill Roberts.  “The 500 guys came out ready to work.  Everyone had a role tonight in us building points.  We were a little more cautious in the medley relay at the end of the night, but it still was the third-best time in school history.”

The meet continues Friday and Saturday with trial heats starting at 10:30 a.m. and the finals beginning at 6 p.m.  Live video of the meet is available to Navy All-Access subscribers, with free live results available at

Women’s Standings
223 Navy
167 Colgate
154 Bucknell
142 Army
96 Lehigh
48 Holy Cross
38 Lafayette
25 American

Men’s Standings
303 Navy
205 Army
170.5 Bucknell
142.5 Lehigh
69 Colgate
52 American
50 Holy Cross
32 Lafayette



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