Navy Wins ECAC Swimming Titles
ANNAPOLIS, Md. –– The Navy swimming and diving programs swept the team titles at the ECAC Championship that concluded Sunday in Lejeune Hall. The women tallied 632.5 points to win the three-day event by nearly 200 points (Bucknell, 452), while the men amassed 532 points to finish 154 points clear of the field (Rider, 378).
The Navy men have now totaled eight wins and one second-place finishes (2014) in the nine years it has competed at the meet, while the Navy women earned the title for the third time in the last six years (2012, ’14). The Navy women also have recorded a pair of second-place showings (2015, ’16) at the championship in recent years.
“It was a fantastic meet for us,” said Navy women’s swimming head coach John Morrison, who was named the ECAC Coach of the Year. “Our team responded extremely well for this meet. There were many, many lifetime best times recorded this weekend by our swimmers. They went beyond our expectations for how fast and strong they performed. It really shows our program is heading in the right direction.”
“It was a terrific meet,” said Navy men’s swimming head coach Bill Roberts. “The competition was excellent. I felt our guys did a really good job of preparing themselves for each day and each session. There was lots of good racing and great energy both on the deck and in the stands. That combined for a very strong performance by both Navy teams.”
Both Navy teams boosted their respective point tallies by way of the relay events. The opening day saw the Mids sweep the 400 medley relay events, then the women won the 800 freestyle final on Saturday.
Comprising the men’s 400 medley relay team were Chipper Machemel (So., Peachtree City, Ga.), Eric Collins (Sr., North Augusta, S.C.), Hayes McCullagh (Sr., Charlotte, N.C.) and Andy MacGregor (Fr., Grand Rapids, Mich.). Jamie Miller (Fr., Rochester, Mich.), Nicole Hetzer (Sr., Ronkonkoma, N.Y.), Erin Scudder Fr., Western Springs, Ill.) and Kathryn Cole (Fr., Nashville, Tenn.) won the women’s 400 medley relay team and Scudder, Megan Motter (Fr., Virginia Beach, Va.), Erin Jordan (So., Schnecksville, Pa.) and Cole combined to win the 800 freestyle relay title.
Navy also placed second in the men’s 200 freestyle relay, second in the women’s 400 freestyle relay and third in the women’s 200 freestyle relay.
Friday’s opening day also saw McCullagh post a time of 1:47.15 to win the 200 individual medley final. He won the event by 1.09 seconds over UMBC’s Nikola Trajkovic. Joining McCullagh in the final was Machemehl, who finished in fourth place.
Jordan led a 2-3-4 finish for the Navy women in the 500 freestyle Friday with her time of 4:52.24, which left her less than four-tenths of a second in back of Virginia’s Jessie Gvozdas. Following Jordan were Stephanie Downing (Fr., Pasadena, Md.) in third and Scudder in fourth. The Mids also gained valuable points with a trio of Navy women finishing in the championship final of the 200 individual medley. Alex Bonfilio (Fr., Waxhaw, N.C.) placed second and McKenna Resconich (Fr., Brighton, Mich.) finished in third place in the event.
Saturday’s opening individual event was a strong one for the Navy women as Resconich recorded a time of 4:22.59 to win the final, Downing finished in second place and Bonfilio touched the wall in third. Scudder also had a good event later in the session for the Mids as she placed second in the 200 freestyle with her time of 1:50.22.
McCullagh earned his second event victory of the meet on Saturday as he claimed the 100 butterfly title with a winning time of 47.48. That effort gave him a nearly nine-tenths of a second win over Virginia’s John Denning.
“Hayes was on a mission,” said Roberts. “He put together some terrific performances. He works extremely hard and we are happy he was able to not only win two races but also drop time in all three of his events.”
Shortly thereafter Nick Lara (Fr., Boulder City, Nev.) placed third in the 400 individual medley, then Greg Arnold (So., Sewickley, Pa.) placed third, Chris Mayer (Fr., Lakeway, Texas) placed fourth and Machemehl finished in fifth place in the 100 backstroke.
The women’s 1650 timed final began Sunday’s final session of the meet, and it was a great race as Gvozdas edged Jordan for the win by one quarter of a second. Gvozdas completed the race in a time of 16:43.60, while Jordan touched the wall in a time of 16:43.85.
Navy’s men’s team placed a pair of swimmers among the top finishers in the men’s 1650 free. Kenny Parker (Jr., Manassas, Va.) finished in third place in the event with Neal Smith (So., Pittsburgh, Pa.) following in fourth place. Mayer then placed second in the 200 backstroke for the Mids, with Collins soon finishing third in the 200 breaststroke.
McCullagh capped a very successful weekend by placing second in the 200 butterfly final. He posted a time of 1:45.49 to be bettered by only the 1:43.05 recorded by Towson’s Jack Saunderson.
Highlighting the results for the Navy women Sunday were Miller placing third in the 200 backstroke and Scudder placing fourth in the 200 fly.
Women’s Top-10 Final Scores (19 teams scored points)
1 – 632.5 – Navy
2 – 452 – Bucknell
3 – 434 – Penn
4 – 348.5 – Virginia
5 – 346 – Columbia
6 – 345 – Marist
7 – 252 – UMBC
8 – 161 – Simmons
9 – 141 – St. Francis (N.Y.)
10 – 122 – Emmanuel
Men’s Top-10 Final Scores (21 teams scored points)
1 – 532 – Navy
2 – 378 – Rider
3 – 358 – UMBC
4 – 311 – Binghamton
5 – 299 – Vrginia
6 – 295 – Columbia
7 – 294 – Emmanuel
8 – 275 – Marist
9 – 265 – Penn
10 – 134 - Bucknell