Navy Sweeps League Swimming & Diving Titles
Feb. 24, 2013
LEWISBURG, Pa. - For the second-consecutive season, the third time in four years and the fourth time in seven years, the Navy swimming and diving programs swept the team titles at the Patriot League Championship. The Mids completed this year's sweep with strong performances Saturday night at Kinney Natatorium in Lewisburg, Pa.
The Navy men's team won the program's 10th-straight title by accruing 995.5 points to defeat second-place Army by 261.5 points.
"I absolutely loved how our guys approached the meet," said Navy men's swimming head coach Bill Roberts. "They took nothing for granted, and I think that showed with how we swam Thursday and Friday. We may have been feeling the effects of that today as we were not as sharp, but we were as focused today as we were the first two days."
The Navy women's team repeated as champions for the first time since winning the last of six-straight titles in 1997. It also was the Patriot League-leading 12th title (in 22 years) for the Mids. Navy tallied 836 points to outdistance second-place Bucknell by 166 points.
"It was a fantastic weekend for us," said Navy women's swimming head coach John Morrison. "Our senior class has worked on us winning this year's title for two years. We finished in second place two years ago and this year's seniors said they never wanted to leave Bucknell in second place again. They put everything they could into achieving that, and the whole team bought into it.
"Tonight, and throughout the championship, we received great efforts from everyone. Outstanding efforts from top to bottom is why we were able to score the points that we did. It was a great weekend for the whole team."
The Navy men's team won each of the six swimming events that were contested Saturday night. Justin Vagts started the evening off by leading a 1-2-3-4 Navy finish in the 1650 with a winning time of 15:10.31. The win was his third of the championship and allowed him to earn his second-consecutive Patriot League Men's Swimmer-of-the-Year award.
"Justin does not waste a single opportunity out there," said Roberts. "He really attacked. His results coming into the meet were starting to track this way, and I think you saw him at his best this weekend."
Conor Campbell followed by winning the 200 backstroke title, then Hugh Davison won the 100 free event. It was Davison's third individual event title of the meet. Sean Murphy would win the 200 breaststroke for the Mids, then Ben Bondurant matched the victory total of Vagts and Davison by winning the 200 butterfly crown. The Mids closed the meet by winning the 400 freestyle relay.
The Navy women's team won a pair of event crowns on the final of competition. Laura Gorinski set several milestones in winning the 200 breaststroke championship. The win was her 11th individual event title in 12 races (placed second in the 200 individual medley in 2011), which included a sweep of both breaststroke events in each of her four years. The 11 titles breaks the Patriot League record of 10, which was set by Navy's Tara Chapmon, and runs her combined (with relay events) total of crowns to 20. She previously broke the league standard of 18 with her performance Friday night.
"Laura has been an outstanding representative of both our program and the Naval Academy as a whole during her four years," said Morrison. "She excels at all facets of her daily life at Navy, but she has always placed the team first and that means so much to everyone. What is most important to the team is most important to her."
Like Vagts, Gorinski was tabbed as the league's swimmer of the year for a second-straight season.
Navy's additional title came from Rheanna Vaughn, who posted a new Navy, Patriot League and Patriot League meet record of 1:58.40 in winning Saturday's final of the 200 butterfly. Her effort broke her own standards of 1:58.77 that she set two years ago.
Joining Vagts and Gorinski in earning a major individual award was Tom Duvall, who was tabbed as the men's rookie of the meet.
Male Swimmer of the Meet - Justin Vagts, Navy, Sr.
Female Swimmer of the Meet - Laura Gorinski, Navy, Sr.
Male Rookie of the Meet - Tom Duvall, Navy
Female Rookie of the Meet - Emma Levendoski, Bucknell
Male Diver of the Meet - Chris Nguyen, Army, Sr.
Female Diver - Katie Hetherington, Bucknell, So.
Diving Coach of the Year - Errol Carter, Bucknell
Men's Coach of the Year - Mickey Wender, Army
Women's Coach of the Year - Dan Schinnerer, Bucknell
1. Navy 836
2. Bucknell 670
3. Colgate 655
4. Army 542
5. Lehigh 312
6. Lafayette 185
7. Holy Cross 120
8. American 117
1. Navy 995.5
2. Army 734
3. Bucknell 543.5
4. Lehigh 393.5
5. American 270
6. Colgate 189
7. Lafayette 178
8. Holy Cross 133.5