Jan. 11, 2013
ANNAPOLIS, Md. -- The Navy swimming and diving programs will return to Lejeune Hall for their first home meet since playing host to the 2012 ECAC Championship in March on Saturday when the Midshipmen play host to North Carolina. The meet is slated to begin at 11 a.m.
The North Carolina men's team has posted a 3-0 record in dual meets this season and is ranked 22nd in the latest College Swimming Coaches Association of America national poll. On the women's side, the Tar Heels are 2-1 in dual meets this year and are ranked 16th nationally. North Carolina's teams placed 14th at the 2012 NCAA Men's Championship and 19th at last season's women's national championship.
Saturday will mark the first time that the North Carolina men's team will compete against the Mids in a dual meet since the Tar Heels visited Annapolis in Dec. of 1973, and it also will be just the second meeting between women's programs in a dual meet and the first since Navy traveled to Chapel Hill in Nov. of 1995.
The last time the Navy women's team took to the waters for a meet was on Dec. 6 when the Mids ran their winning streak over Army to 24 years with a 207-93 win over the Black Knights in Philadelphia. That victory improved Navy's record on the season to 6-1.
"It's been a month since we last competed, so we are looking forward to competing again to gauge our training as we approach championship season," said Navy women's swimming head coach John Morrison, who is a graduate of North Carolina. "Chapel Hill has a great team and an equally strong coaching staff. There is no doubt that the Heels will be in a fight for the ACC Championship and a spot among the top-10 teams at NCAA Meet. We are confident our team will step up and compete well against this caliber of competition."
Saturday's meet will be the second of 2013 for the Navy men's team. The Mids saw their record fall to 5-3 on the year with a 182-115 loss at Princeton a week ago.
"We are excited about the opportunity to race and compete with the University of North Carolina," said Navy men's swimming head coach Bill Roberts
. "This is a new and very competitive dual meet for us on our schedule."
The Navy-North Carolina tilt will be the first competition to take place in the refurbished Lejeune Hall. The facility recently underwent its most extensive renovation -- nearly $11 million -- in its 30 years of existence. Included among the list of upgrades to the facility were: installed a Daktronics 10mm video board display and swim / dive scoring system; replaced pool filtration, circulation, and chlorination systems; replaced all tile in the pools and on pool decks; replaced HVAC system; repainted the walls; replaced the movable bulkhead in the lap pool and replaced the glazed glass in both skylights.
"The response of the USNA community to the re-opening of Lejeune Hall has been exciting to witness," said Roberts. "We are very excited about being back in our traditional facility. A lot of time, effort and resources have gone into getting the pool to its new state which we are very, very grateful for."