Feb. 19, 2013
ANNAPOLIS, Md. -- The Navy swimming and diving teams will look to repeat their success from a year ago when the Midshipmen take part in the 2013 Patriot League Championship that runs Thursday through Saturday at Kinney Natatorium on the Bucknell campus in Lewisburg, Pa.
Trial heats begin daily at 10:30 a.m., with the finals slated to start at 6 p.m. each night. Links to free live results from each of the six sessions can be found at NavySports.com. Additionally, Navy All-Access subscribers can view a video stream of the entire championship. Register or log-on to Navy All-Access by visiting NavySports.com.
After winning the two team crowns at the 2012 championship held in Annapolis, both Navy teams were tabbed as the pre-season favorite in their respective polls this season.
The Navy men's team will be attempting to win its 10th championship in as many years of competing at the event, while the women's team will be trying to win its second-straight championship, third title in four years and a league-best 12th crown in 22 seasons.
"Our team is really doing a nice job of getting ready for the championship," said Navy women's swimming head coach John Morrison. "With many new faces in the league, this is shaping up to be an exciting meet. There is no doubt we will be looking for the leadership from our seniors to drive our team to a great weekend."
"Conference championship time is a great time of the year," said Navy men's swimming head coach Bill Roberts. "The swimmers and divers put in a ton of time and effort throughout the season and the year. It is always awesome to see their commitment rewarded."
Each of the Navy teams returns a significant number of swimmers and divers who excelled at the 2012 championship. On the men's side, Navy returns 12 of the 18 athletes who garnered all-league accolades a year ago, including seven of the team's 13 first-team all-league honorees. Meanwhile, this year's Navy women's team features 10 of the 14 swimmers and divers who earned all-league laurels at the 2012 meet. This includes seven of the nine Mids who received first-team honors last season.
A total of nine Mids between the two teams return after having won at least one individual event title at last year's meet. This includes Justin Vagts
(Sr., Crofton, Md.), Laura Gorinski
(Sr., Greensburg, Pa.) and Toni Paruso
(Sr., Savannah, Ga.), each of whom won three events a season ago. Vagts won the 500 free, 400 individual medley and 1650 free events, Gorinski picked up wins in the 200 individual medley and both breaststroke events and Paruso won the titles in the 50 free and the two butterfly races.
Vagts and Gorinski garnered the respective swimmer-of-the-meet honors last season.
Additional returning defending champions for Navy are Ange Sawick (So., Abington, Pa), 500 free, 1650 free; Kellie Darmody (Sr., Charlotte, N.C.), 100 back, tied for 200 back victory; Ben Bondurant (Sr., Atlanta, Ga.), 200 individual medley; Sean Murphy (Jr., Hudson, Ohio), 100 breast; Conor Campbell (Jr., Manassas, Va.), 200 back; and Luke Hoffer (Jr., Chapel Hill, N.C.), 200 breaststroke.
A number of Mids have posted the league's top time or scores in an event during the 2012-13 season. Among top seeds for the Navy men's team are Tom Duvall (Fr., Durham, N.H.), 500 free, 1650 free; Ben Freedman (Sr., Kennewick, Wash.), three-meter springboard diving; Hugh Davison (Jr., Towson, Md.), 200 free; Murphy, 100 breast; Brendan Walsh (So., Pittsburgh, Pa.), 100 backstroke, 200 backstroke; Hoffer, 200 breaststroke; and Bondurant, 200 fly.
For the Navy women's team, the listing of top seeds in the league features Sawick, 500 free; Gorinski, 200 individual medley, 400 individual medley, 100 breast, 200 breast; Paruso, 100 fly; Maddie Thompson (Fr., Jersey Shore, Pa.), 100 free; and Rheanna Vaughn (Jr., Aliso Viejo, Calif.), 200 fly.
In the relay events, the Navy men's team has recorded the fastest time in the league in the 200 free, 200 medley, 800 free and 400 free events, with the Navy women posting the best time in the 200 medley and 400 free events.