PHILADELPHIA, Pennsylvania, January 27. A trio of 1-2-3 finishes midway through the meet helped the Navy men's team record a 176-124 victory over Penn, Saturday afternoon at Sheerr Pool in Philadelphia. The Penn women's swimming and diving team won the final event of the day to post a 155-145 victory over Navy.
"It was a pretty good meet for us," said Navy men's swimming head coach Bill Roberts. "We were pleased with the results."
The win, Navy's first road victory over the Quakers since the 1998-99 season, improves Navy's overall record on the season to 12-3, as well as to 4-3 against Eastern Intercollegiate Swimming League opponents. The four league wins is the most for the program since the Mids posted a 4-5 league record during the 2001-02 season.
Penn fell to 6-7 on the season with the loss.
Navy started the meet by winning four of the opening five races to jump out to a 62-31 lead. After winning the 200 medley relay event, Cody Reeb (Fr., St. Louis, Mo.) and Andy Bockus (Sr., Oklahoma City, Okla.) placed first and second, respectively, in the 1000 freestyle. Reeb won the event in a time of 9:46.82, with Bockus finishing five seconds later for second place.
Penn's Pat Gallagher won the next event, the 200 freestyle, then Billy Vey (So., Huntersville, N.C.) won the 100 backstroke for the Mids (52.67) and teammate Kevin Kysiak (Jr., Western Springs, Ill.) won the 100 breaststroke (58.58).
Penn would win the next two events, the 200 fly and the 50 free, to close the margin to 74-57. Navy answered by having its athletes place first, second and third in three of the next four events to give the Mids a 128-79 advantage.
The Navy run began with diving as Kevin Teague (Sr., Lexington, Ky.) won the one-meter springboard with a pool record score of 330.90, Adam Niekras (Jr., Liverpool, N.Y.) placed second with a score of 281.10 and Jon Galinski (So., Phoenix, Md.) placed third with a tally of 280.13.
Penn swimmers placed first and second in the 100 free, but Vey, Danny Mizelle (Jr., Rockville, Va.) and Andrew Hetzner (Fr., Riverside, Calif.) swept the top-three places for the Mids in the 200 backstroke. Andrew Utama (Fr., Walnut Creek, Calif.), Adam Meyer and John Kennedy (Sr., Richmond, Va.) would then match the performance of the Navy's backstrokers in the following event, the 200 breaststroke.
Vey won the 100 back in a time of 1:55.09, with Utama posting a 2:07.31 to win the 200 breast.
The Mids picked up two additional victories over the remaining four events, with Vey winning his third event of the day, the 200 individual medley, and Galinski posting a score of 317.70 to win the three-meter springboard diving event.
"All of our divers came up big today," said Roberts. "Their performances on the one meter were awesome and was just the spark we needed."
The Navy women close their dual meet season with an 11-2 record, while Penn improves to 11-4 on the year. The win was the seventh-straight in the series for the Quakers, but was far closer than last year's 46-point margin of victory for Penn.
"I'm disappointed in the final result, but am pleased with our performances today," said Navy women's swimming head coach John Morrison. "We raced better than we did two weeks ago, so we are moving in the right direction as we begin to gear towards the Patriot League Championship.
"Penn swam a great meet. This was their last home meet of the year so they were honoring a great senior class, and it was an emotional meet for them. I'm pleased our girls rose to the occasion."
The Quakers outscored the Mids in three of the first four events to take a 46-28 advantage, but Navy answered by winning the next five events and taking a slim 85-84 lead.
Aubra Thomas (Sr., Pittsburgh, Pa.) started the Navy run of victories by winning the 100 breaststroke in a time of 1:05.65. Mallory Dietrich (Fr., Pittsburgh, Pa.) followed by winning the 200 fly in a time of 2:05.10, then Thuy-Mi Dinh (Fr., Anaheim, Calif.) won the 50 free with a clocking of 23.91. After Katie Griffin (Jr., Ellicott City, Md.) won the one-meter diving event with a tally of 286.13, Dinh returned to the water and won the 100 free in a time of 52.72.
The Quakers placed first and second in the next event, the 200 backstroke, to take a 99-89 lead, but Dietrich won the 200 breast (2:22.24) and Tara Chapmon (Fr., Virginia, Beach, Va.), who earlier in the meet won the 1000 free, won the 500 free (5:02.36) to pull the Mids to within 114-112.
Penn's Tara Gillies won the 100 fly to increase the margin to seven points, but Griffin won the three-meter springboard (304.95) and SwimmingWorldMagazine.com "A Day in the Life" series participant Kelly Zahalka (So., Richmond, Va.) won the 200 individual medley (2:10.86) to make it a one-point meet at 142-141 heading into the final event of the day, the 400 freestyle relay.
Dinh swam the opening leg of the Navy relay, while Lauren Brandes was the first swimmer in the pool for the Quakers. Brandes held a 16-hundredth of a second advantage after 50 yards, then opened up a nearly one-second advantage at the end of her leg. The remaining Penn swimmers opened up the lead even more over each of the remaining legs and ended up completing the event in a time of 3:31.37 to Navy's 3:34.20 to secure the dual meet victory.