Dec. 5, 2012
ANNAPOLIS, Md. -- The Army and Navy swimming and diving teams will face each other Thursday in the annual dual meet between the teams.
The diving portion of the meet will be held at the Rutgers Aquatics Center in Piscataway, N.J., starting at 1 p.m. The swimming events will then begin at 6 p.m. at the Salvation Army Kroc Center in Philadelphia, the same venue that played host to the Army-Navy swimming meet two years ago.
Due to the limited available seating at the Kroc Center, all free tickets to the meet have already been distributed to family and friends of the Army and Navy teams. Those who have tickets waiting in their name can pick them up at the front desk of the Kroc Center.
NavySports.com will be offering free live results and a free video stream of the swimming events. Longtime Navy announcer Bob Socci will call the play-by-play of the meet on the stream, with Jake Keefe, who served as the captain of Navy's 2005 team, serving as the analyst.
Please note that this is the first time either live results and a video stream will be offered from a meet at the Kroc Center, so technical difficulties may occur. Viewers can access the free video stream by logging into or creating a Navy All-Access account. There is no charge to create an account.
"We are excited to be returning to the Salvation Army Kroc Center," said Navy men's swimming head coach Bill Roberts. "They have a fast pool and are terrific hosts. Additionally, we are honored to be part of Army-Navy week and competing in Philadelphia just two days before the football game. This is one of the few neutral site collegiate swimming and diving meets in the nation and is an excellent opportunity to showcase our sport."
"It will be a great experience to be back in Philadelphia," said Navy women's swimming head coach John Morrison. "The Kroc Center did a real nice job of supporting the meet two years ago. I am certain that its staff will again be great hosts to this rivalry."
As part of holding the meet at the Kroc Center, members of both the Army and Navy teams will return to the venue Friday afternoon to provide swimming lessons to the members of the community.
The Navy women's team enters Thursday having defeated Army in each of the last 23 years, while the Navy men have posted 21-consecutive victories in the series. Though the Mids have controlled the series of late, Thursday's meet is shaping up to be one of the closer duals in recent years.
Army comes into the meet having set a combined 12 school records and 10 freshman records at the Brown Big Bear Open this past weekend. Additionally, Army's men's team has posted a 5-1 dual meet record this fall while its women's team is 4-3 on the year.
Both Navy teams have been off from competition since taking part in the Nike Cup Nov. 15-17. In dual meets this season, the Navy men's team has compiled a 4-2 record and the women's team is 5-1.
Last year's meet between the service academies saw the Mids defeat the Black Knights in the women's meet by the score of 226.5-73.5 and the men win by the count of 186-114.
The Navy women's team returns swimmers who totaled nine events victories against Army last season. Headlining that list are Laura Gorinski (Sr., Greensburg, Pa.), who won both breaststroke events and the 200 individual medley race, and Kellie Darmody (Sr., Charlotte, N.C.), who swept the two backstroke events. Those swimmers who picked up one victory over the Black Knights a year ago include Ange Sawick (So., Abington, Pa.), the winner of the 1000 free, Rheanna Vaughn (Jr., Aliso Viejo, Calif.), who won the 200 butterfly, Haley Nowak (Jr., Manassas, Va.), who won the 500 free and Toni Paruso (Sr., Savannah, Ga.), who recorded her win in the 100 butterfly.
The lone swimmer who won an event for Army during last year's meet, Alyssa Tran in the 50 freestyle, graduated last spring.
"We're looking forward to a great competition against Army," said Navy women's swimming head coach John Morrison. "Army is always tough and they have competed very well all fall. We will need to have a great meet and be at our best. This meet definitely brings out some great swims from both teams, so we are looking forward to it."
It is a different story on the men's side, as Army returns individuals who totaled five victories last year and the Mids bring back swimmers who won four events. The Black Knights return multiple event winners Daniel Foky (50 free, 100 free) and Chris Nguyen (both diving boards), as well as Ayman Andrews (100 fly). Returning winners for Navy are Luke Hoffer (Jr., Chapel Hill, N.C.), the winner both breaststroke races, Conor Campbell (Jr., Manassas, Va.), who won the 200 backstroke, and Ben Bondurant (So., Lititz, Pa.), the winner of the 200 individual medley race.
"Army is coming off a terrific weekend of competition at the new facility at Brown," said Roberts. "With their efforts this weekend, this has the makings to be a very close meet based off our results from this fall."
Both Navy teams added to their point totals a year ago by sweeping the relay events.