ANNAPOLIS, Maryland, February 19. AFTER taking sizeable leads on the first day of the Patriot League Swimming and Diving Championship, both Navy programs were able to expand their advantage Friday on the second day of the meet that is being contested this weekend at Lejeune Hall. The Navy women's team has totaled 592 points through two days to open up a lead of 141 points, while the Navy men's program has tallied 670 points to build a cushion of 250 points with one day remaining.
The two teams from Bucknell are both in second place in their respective standings heading into Saturday's final day of competition.
The Navy teams combined to win 11 of the 15 events contested Friday night.
"I'm pleased with how the evening went for us," said Navy women's swimming head coach John Morrison. "We saw a lot of inspired, fantastic swims."
"We had good swims this morning to set things up well tonight," said Navy men's swimming head coach Bill Roberts. "However, as a whole we just did not come back tonight as well as we were expecting to. I take full responsibility for that. The guys have worked hard for this meet and I am proud of their effort through the first two days of it."
The night began with both Navy teams winning their respective 200 medley relay races. The women's foursome of Kellie Darmody, Laura Gorinski, Toni Paruso and Thuy-Mi Dinh broke the Lejeune Hall record (1:44.73) and the Navy standard (1:42.98) with their winning time of 1:42.21. Navy and Bucknell were virtually even when Dinh hit the water for the final leg of the race, but she posted a time of 22.31 over her 50 yards to give the Mids the win by nine-tenths of a second over Bucknell.
The men's race also came down to a two-team contest between the Mids the Bison. Bucknell held a two-tenths of a second lead after 50 yards and then expanded it to one-quarter of a second at the midpoint of the race. Navy's third swimmer, Adam Meyer, posted a time of 21.48 during the butterfly leg to not only take the lead for Navy but also give the Mids an advantage of eight-tenths of a second heading into the final leg of the race. Frank Komadina gave up a little of the Navy cushion over the last 50 yards, but the Mids still won the race by five-tenths of a second with an overall clocking of 1:31.38.
After winning each of the first six swimming events of the meet, the winning streak by the Mids came to a halt in the 400 individual medley. Colgate's Erica Derlath won the championship final with a time of 4:18.11. The lone Navy swimmer to advance to the championship final was Natalie Albertson, who placed sixth with a clocking of 4:26.83. A trio of Mids scored points for Navy with their placings in the consolation final. Bryn Moriarity won the race, with teammates Tessa Snow and Madison Jones finishing in 11th and 16th place, respectively.
While the Navy women had four swimmers compete over the two finals of the 400 IM, the Navy men not only placed four members of its team into the championship final of the event, the Mids placed first, second, third and fourth in the race. Justin Vagts won the race with a time of 3:53.11. His clocking edged Erik Hunter's second-place time of 3:55.31 and allowed him to finish three seconds in front of James Lascara and four seconds ahead of Patrick Veltman.
The Mids held a 366-309 lead over the second-place Bucknell women's team heading into the 100 butterfly, but when the event had ended the Mids had expanded their advantage to 67 points (401-334). Helping the Mids to add to their cushion was Toni Paruso, who won the event with a Navy record time of 54.66. She edged Colgate's Erin McGraw for the win by eight-tenths of a second. Joining Paruso in the final was teammate Kalea Middendorf, who placed eighth with a time of 57.17, while Navy's Sarah Lindberg placed 13th in the consolation final.
Navy's Adam Meyer won both butterfly events last year on his way to being named as the league's swimmer of the year. He won the 200 IM Thursday and added the 100 butterfly crown to his resume Friday. Meyer held a slim five-hundredths of a second advantage over Army's Brody Blickle after 50 yards, but he bettered Blickle's time over the closing 50 yards by over one-half of a second to post a winning time of 48.39. Finishing immediately behind Blickle in third place was Navy's Steve Dukleth with a time of 49.06.
The most productive event of the night for the Navy women's team was the 200 freestyle. The Mids placed a pair of swimmers into the consolation final and Navy swimmers comprised half of the championship final's field of eight swimmers. Tara Chapmon entered the race as the second swimmer in league history to have won the event three times in a career. With a new Navy and Patriot League record time of 1:46.17, she climbed out of the pool as the lone swimmer to have won the event four times in a career.
The Mids added a slew of points to its tally in the race as Allison Ranzau finished in second place (1:49.30), Thuy-Mi Dinh placed third (1:49.99) and Daphne Williams finished in eighth place (1:55.30). Navy's success was not limited to the championship final of the event. Danielle Reminger won the consolation race with a time of 1:52.69 and Katie Davidson finished in second place with a clocking of 1:53.19. The points allowed Navy to take a 481-350 lead over the second-place Bison.
Four Navy swimmers stood on the starting blocks for the championship final of the men's 200 freestyle race. At the end of the race, Mac Anthony had won his second consecutive title in the event with a winning time of 1:37.23. He won the race by 1.3 seconds over Bucknell's Matt Segar, who was followed by Navy's Aaron Aiken in third place and Jack Curran in fourth. Rounding out the list of Navy finalists was Alex Buck in eighth place.
The morning trial heats saw Navy's Laura Gorinski set a new school and pool record in the 100 breaststroke with a time of 1:02.63. She would better her own standard in winning the championship final with a time of 1:01.89. Her time gave her the win by three-tenths of a second over the defending co-champion in the event, Dory Isaacs of American. It was an important win as she was the lone Navy swimmer to advance to either final in the event.
The men's 100 breaststroke turned into an Army-Navy dual between Army's James McLaughlin and Navy's Pete Donahue. A great first half of the race and a very strong closing sprint gave McLaughlin the win over Donahue. McLaughlin posted a winning time of 56.16, while Donahue finished in second place with a clocking of 56.34.
The Navy women's team placed a trio of swimmers into the championship final of the 100 backstroke. Bucknell's Courtney Warren, who broke the league record in the event with a time of 54.72 during the morning trials heats, lowered her own standard in winning the evening final with a time of 54.55. Finishing in second place was Colgate's Lia Kunnapas (56.27), who was followed in third place by Navy's Hollis Capuano (56.58) and her teammate Kellie Darmody in fourth place (56.72). Completing the trio of Navy swimmers in the final was Sarah Lindberg, who placed eighth with a clocking of 58.24. Navy's Toni Paruso won the consolation final of the event with a time of 56.80.
The Navy men's team placed two of its swimmers into the championship final of the 100 backstroke and one into the consolation final of the event. Mark Meyer was the top finishing Mid in the event as his time of 50.90 gave him a fourth-place showing behind American's Matt Pelletier's winning time of 49.61. Finishing immediately behind Meyer was teammate Joseph Stark (50.92), while Marshall Daniels won the consolation final (51.45).
Navy junior Olaf Olson won both diving boards at the 2009 league meet to earn diver-of-the-year accolades. However, Olson only recently returned to diving after recovering from a wrist injury, and that led him to not be able to compete at the Patriot League Championship. Ben Nicholas has stepped into Olson's shoes as the top diver on the team over the last month of the season, and his strong efforts continued Friday. His score of 263.20 during the trial heats made him the third-seeded diver heading into the evening session. Tonight, Nicholas would go on to tally 316.85 points to win the crown by 21 points over Bucknell's Dave Magaro. Navy's Bryan Gentz finished in fourth place, with Tanner Bosch placing 14th overall.
Concluding the evening session was the 800 freestyle relay. Tara Chapmon had a blistering opening leg to the race as her time of 1:46.96 gave the Mids a lead of seven seconds. Thuy-Mi Dinh hit the water next, but she quickly had trouble with her goggles. That forced her to come to a near stop as she removed both her goggles and outer swim cap. She gave up a little ground, but still left with Navy holding a five-second advantage. The final two swimmers for the Mids, Hollis Capuano and Allison Ranzau, only expanded upon the Navy lead. When Ranzau finally touched the wall, the clock showed a time of 7:23.82 for the foursome. That broke the Navy record (7:24.58), but missed the league record of 7:21.64 and very narrowly an NCAA ‘B' cut time of 7:23.17.
The Navy men, meanwhile, slowly took control of its race. There was almost no difference in the opening 200-yard times posted by Navy's Erik Hunter and Bucknell's Daniel Fletcher. The Mids made their first move of the race on their second leg when Adam Meyer bettered his Bucknell counterpart by over three seconds. After Jack Curran gave Navy another one-second advantage on the third leg, Mac Anthony picked up another second and a half on the last leg of the race. In the end, Navy's time of 6:36.10 gave the Mids the victory by close to six seconds.
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