2022 Patriot League Championships: Navy Sweeps Titles Again; Sydney Harrington, Ethan Tack Win Swimmer of the Meet

Navy's Sydney Harrington -- Photo Courtesy: NCAA Media

2022 Patriot League Championships: Navy Sweeps Titles; Sydney Harrington, Ethan Tack Win Swimmer of the Meet

The U.S. Naval Academy has been the dominant swimming and diving program in the Patriot League for many years, and after the Patriot League did not host a championship meet in 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Midshipmen managed to continue both streaks at this week’s conference meet that Navy hosted in Annapolis, Md. The Navy women posted 973.5 points, almost 400 ahead of runnerup Bucknell (577.5), while the Navy women scored 874 to comfortably defeat Army (740.5). Navy seniors Sydney Harrington and Ethan Tack were named the top performers of the meet

On the women’s side, Harrington claimed three individual victories: the 50 freestyle (22.53), 100 butterfly (52.36) and 200 butterfly (1:55.27). Harrington also contributed to victories in four relays for Navy: the team of Megan MurphyRiley Gavigan, Harrington and Sarah Sorensen won the 200 medley relay in 1:39.90, and the 400 medley relay went to Brooke West, Gavigan, Harrington and Martina Thomas in 3:37.87. Harrington, West, Thomas and Sorensen won the 200 free relay in 1:30.95, and that same foursome, with Thomas anchoring, captured the 400 free relay in 3:19.48 to conclude the meet.

Navy’s Haley Harris was named female rookie of the meet as she won the 400 IM (4:17.98) while also posting a third-place finish in the 200 IM and sixth-place finish in the 200 breast. Additionally for Navy, Thomas tied for the win in the 500 free with Bucknell’s Maddie Hartigan in 4:45.85, and Thomas also won the 200 free in 1:46.77. Gavigan won the 100 breast (1:02.04), and Gabi Baldwin won the 200 back (1:57.41). Navy’s Libby Miller captured first in the 200 breast (2:13.01), while Navy’s Hannah Montau was named female diver of the meet for her 1-meter and 3-meter wins. In the 800 free relay, the team of Thomas, Baldwin, Cameron Horner and Sorensen won for the Midshipmen in 7:15.20.

In addition to her win in the 500 free, Bucknell’s Hartigan won the 1650 free (16:37.48), while Army’s Meghan Cole won the 200 IM (2:00.14). Loyola’s Lily Mead claimed first in the 100 back (53.71), and Lehigh’s Ann Foley came out on top in the 100 free (49.05).

In the men’s competition, Tack won the 200 IM (1:44.58), 400 IM (3:48.60) and 200 fly (1:43.89), while the team of Conor CranfieldEveret Andrew, Tack and Garrett McGovern captured the 800 free relay title in 6:23.01. Additionally, Andrew was the winner of the 500 free in 4:18.31, leading a 1-2-3 finish with McGovern and Cranfield, and he also won the 200 free in 1:36.45. Andrew was named male rookie of the meet for his efforts.

Navy’s Jonah Harm won the 100 fly (46.27), and teammate Jackson Schultz was the winner in the 100 breast (53.23). Caleb Mauldin of the Midshipmen took first in the 100 back (46.12). The team of Mauldin, Derek Nguyen, Harm and Callen Aulizia took first in the 200 medley relay in 1:25.30, while Maudin, Schultz, Harm and McGovern topped the 400 medley relay in 3:07.32. Harm, McGovern, Aulizia and Mauldin took the win in the 400 free relay in 2:54.71.

Army’s Owen Harlow swept the 50 free (19.72) and 100 free (43.59), and in the 200 breast, his teammates Evan Yoo (1:55.27) and Evan Zhang (1:55.28) finished 1-2. Army’s Daniel Alaimo was the winner of 1-meter and 3-meter diving, and he earned diver of the meet honors for his efforts.

Loyola freshman Henry Mueller won the 200 back in 1:45.74, and the team of Caleb KellyJimmy Hayburn, Mueller and Reid Hussey took first in the 200 free relay in 1:19.05.

Full results from the meet are available here.

Read the full press release from Navy, including quotes from women’s head coach John Morrison and men’s coach Bill Roberts, below:

The Navy swimming and diving teams closed the Patriot League Championship by winning a combined seven events Saturday night in Lejeune Hall to sweep the team titles.

The women’s team totaled 973.5 points to outdistance second-place Bucknell by nearly 400 points (577.5) and win the team crown for the 10th year in a row and the 20th time in program history.

Navy’s men’s team tallied 874 points to win the program’s 18th title in 18 years of competing at the meet by 133.5 points over second-place Army (740.5).

“It was a fantastic championship,” said women’s swimming head coach John Morrison. “It has been a long two years since we had a league meet. I was really proud of our team and all of Navy swimming and diving to come together and have a meet like we did.”

“We never take these for granted,” said men’s swimming head coach Bill Roberts. “I say that every time, but each one, to get to this point on Saturday night, is completely different. And without a doubt, this was different than any other meet we have had. In some sessions we were amazing; in some we were average. It is hard to know how things will play out. For this team to fight through three-and-a-half days of competition, do all of the work for two years since we didn’t have a meet last year due to COVID, I was really impressed with this team coming in here and continuing the tradition that has been established.”

Individually, the programs earned the majority of the major individual awards. Morrison was named the women’s swimming coach of the year, Rich MacDonald was named the women’s diving coach of the year, Haley Harris was selected as the women’s rookie of the year, Hannah Montau earned the women’s diver-of-the-year award, Sydney Harrington received the women’s swimmer-of-the-year laurel, Ethan Tack was named the men’s swimmer of the year and Everet Andrew garnered the men’s rookie-of-the-year accolade.

“It has been an awesome for years for me,” said Tack. “Leading up to this year and this meet for me personally, I had a lot of mentors get me to this point. Micah Oh had an amazing meet in 2020, and I wanted to duplicate that and do something just as good as him. The amount of people on the team who have gotten me to where I am is amazing. That is just the competitive nature of the team we have built over the last four years. It has brought our team up to a new level. And if you look at the times across the Patriot League, there is a league pride. My plebe year, my times in the fly and IM were four to five seconds slower than now. It is great to see how much not just our team has become better, but the league too. That is really awesome.”

1650 Freestyle
The 1650 freestyle format was a timed final with just the fastest 10 entry times swimming at night and the rest competing in the afternoon.

Cameron Horner was the top Navy women’s finisher as she placed third with a time of 16:40.18, which was less than three seconds behind event winner Maddie Hartigan from Bucknell (16:37.48). Rachel Schlemmer followed in fourth place for the Mids (16:53.90).

In the men’s race Garrett McGovern finished in second place in the event with a time of 15:04.48, which was an NCAA B cut (15:26.19). Andrew posted a sixth-place finish with his time of 15:29.07, and Oli Smith followed in seventh place with his effort of 15:32.09.

200 Backstroke
Loyola’s Lilly Mead posted the fastest time in the trial heats. Her time of 1:58.37 bettered the 1:59.26 recorded by Navy’s Gabi Baldwin and the 1:59.37 totaled by Baldwin’s teammate, Madi Milbert.

Baldwin would emerge from the championship final with a first-place finish thanks to her time of 1:57.41. Mead placed second at 1:58.07 and Milbert just missed a spot on the podium with a fourth-place time of 1:58.99.

“Gabi swam a perfect race and came home in the last 50 yards,” said Morrison. “Madi has been a stalwart for us for four years. To have those two in the final heat was fantastic.”

Nathan Roodzant was the lone Mid to reach the men’s championship final. He finished in third place with a time of 1:49.79.

100 Freestyle
Three Mids appeared in the championship final of the women’s event. Martina Thomas placed third in the trial heats to be the team’s top seed from the morning session.

That seeding held up as Thomas posted a time of 50.30 to earn the bronze medal. Rounding out the list of Mids who made the final were Sarah Sorensen in fifth place (50.95) and Brooke West in eighth place (51.61).

Caleb Mauldin posted the fastest time in the men’s trial heats with his effort of 43.69, which was an NCAA B cut (43.80). He would finish in third place in the final with a time of 43.92, just 32-hundredths of a second behind the event winner.

200 Breaststroke
Five of the eight championship qualifiers in the women’s event were Mids. Leading Navy from the morning session was Libby Miller with a second-place showing of 2:15.34. She would earn the title at night with a time of 2:13.01. Teammate Riley Gavigan placed second with her clocking of 2:13.38, as both Miller and Gavigan recorded NCAA B cut times (2:13.97).

Additionally, Harris placed sixth with a 2:17.58, Emily Brockman followed in seventh with a 2:18.40 and Reagan Johnson finished in eighth place with her time of 2:19.14.

“We had five in the A final,” said Morrison. “We haven’t seen that before in this event.”

Jackson Schultz led all swimmers in the morning heats with a time of 1:55.38, an effort that also was an NCAA B cut time (1:58.43). He would end up placing third in the final with a clocking of 1:55.99. Joining him in the final was James Lee, who finished in fifth place with his effort of 1:59.09.

200 Butterfly
The 200 fly has been Harrington’s best event throughout her career. She holds the Navy and Patriot League record in the event (1:53.74), won the league crown in 2020 and placed 16th in the event at the 2021 NCAA Championship. She won the morning trial heat by 3.7 seconds with her NCAA B cut time (1:59.23) of 1:55.76. Then in the final, she recorded a 1:55.27 to once again win the race by open water.

“It feels good,” said Harrington of her career. “I have done a lot of things I wanted to accomplish, and I am really happy about that because I didn’t think I could.”

“Watching Sydney swim the 200 fly was a sight to see,” said Morrison. “We are going to miss her. She did an outstanding job to come away with the victory.”

That second-place finisher behind Harrington was teammate Caroline Irwin thanks to her time of 1:59.02. Two more Mids reached the championship final. Grace Hastings placed fourth with a time of 2:00.32 and Amy Yunginger finished in seventh place with a time of 2:02.36.

“It was a big-time effort to see Caroline get that second-place spot,” said Morrison.

Navy had a strong morning in the men’s 200 fly. Tack was the top qualifier with a time of 1:44.70, which was an NCAA B cut time (1:46.69), Pat Colwell finished second (1:45.65) and Ben Selnick placed fifth (1:47.86).

Tack maintained his seeding and improved upon his time to win the event by nearly 1.3 seconds over second-place Colwell. Tack posted a time of 1:43.89 and Colwell recorded a 1:45.15. Selnick would tie for seventh place with a time of 1:48.63.

“The fly was awesome,” said Roberts. “It was a great race. The guys did what they needed to do this morning, and I am happy for all three of them to perform well in finals. Ethan led wire to wire, and that says a lot about why he was swimmer of the meet. And it was great to see Pat finish strong to get second.”

Women’s Three-Meter Diving
As successful as Harrington has been in the pool throughout her career, Montau has equaled her in the diving well. This year’s one-meter champion, she scored 341.70 points in the three-meter afternoon trial heats to win the event by nearly 50 points and break her own meet (326.30) and league (329.10) record. This evening, she accrued 364.05 points to break those record again and also better the pool record set by Kylie Towlbin of Virginia (357.10).

“The energy from the crowd was electric,” said Montau, who totaled five first-place finishes and one second-place showing in her six career events at the Patriot League Championship. “I couldn’t imagine ended my last Patriot League Championship with a pool record that I had felt was beyond my reach. I couldn’t be prouder of my teammates for everything they have done for me.”

Also having a great meet was Caroline Turner, who scored 296.90 points to place third in tonight’s event. Additionally, Sarah Gurley posted 270.20 points to place sixth in the final.

“What a way to end a fantastic league meet,” said MacDonald. “The swimmers had been crushing it the whole week. That became a big inspiration for us to follow their success with success of our own. Our divers were amazing in both prelims and finals. It was great for Sarah to final in only her second league meet event. And it is pretty special for Caroline to earn another bronze medal this week.

“Words cannot describe Hannah’s performance today. To break two records in the morning then break them again and add a third record was really impressive and special. I know I have said it all week, but I couldn’t be prouder of our swimmers and divers.”

“Diving was fantastic,” said Morrison. “To have three in the finals was really special. Hannah and Caroline dove lights out. They were so consistent.”

400 Freestyle Relay
The final event of the women’s meet began with Harrington giving her teammates a lead of six-tenths of a second after the opening 100 yards of the race. West followed with a time of 50.65, then Sorensen posted a time of 49.78 to stretch the lead out to 1.52 seconds. Thomas brought the Mids home with a 49.01. Added up, Navy recorded a time of 3:19.48 to win the race by almost 2.6 seconds.

“It was so much fun to have this success with our whole team,” said Harrington. “The last relay, we were all swimming for each other. We were swimming to be our best.”

“We had four seniors in the relay and they had great swims from start to finish,” said Morrison. “They just kept increasing the lead, which was awesome.”

There was a little more drama in the men’s race, but in the end the result was the same. Jonah Harm swam the opening leg for the Mids, and he was nine-tenths of a second behind Loyola’s initial swimmer. McGovern entered the water next and his time of 43.11 gave Navy a one-quarter of a second cushion after 200 yards. Callen Aulizia followed with a 43.95 that kept the Greyhounds at bay by two-tenths of a second. Mauldin was the anchor leg and he had stretched the lead out to nine-tenths of a second after 50 yards. In the end, Navy posted a time of 2:54.71 to win the race by 1.35 seconds and just miss the school and league record by three-hundredths of a second.

“We knew there was the chance that this would be a very close race with several teams capable of winning,” said Roberts. “Getting the right guys in the right order was important. We felt we had a strong team. We couldn’t be happier with all four legs. They raced really well. I thought the second leg by Garrett was really important. For him to come in at the halfway point with the lead was encouraging to the other two guys. Everybody in the venue saw it was an amazing leg. Then we had firstie leadership, which is what this school is about. I couldn’t be happier for them.”

Major Award Winners
Women’s Swim Coach of the Year: John Morrison, Navy
Women’s Diving Coach of the Year: Rich MacDonald, Navy

Men’s Swim Coach of the Year: Dan Schinnerer, Bucknell
Men’s Diving Coach of the Year: Chris Waters, Army West Point

Female Swimmer of the Meet: Sydney Harrington, Navy, Sr.
Male Swimmer of the Meet: Ethan Tack, Navy, Sr.

Female Rookie of the Meet: Haley Harris, Navy, Fr.
Male Rookie of the Meet: Everet Andrew, Navy, Fr.

Female Diver of the Meet: Hannah Montau, Navy, Sr.
Male Diver of the Meet: Daniel Alaimo, Army West Point, Sr.

Team Rankings – Women
1. Navy (973.5)
2. Bucknell (577.5)
3. Army (570)
4. Boston U (471)
5. Lehigh (258)
6. Loyola (207
7. American (195)
8. Colgate (154)
9. Holy Cross (146)
10. Lafayette (71)

Team Rankings – Men
1. Navy (874)
2. Army West Point (740.5)
3. Bucknell (559.5)
4. Loyola Maryland (497.5)
5. Boston University (242.5)
6. Lehigh (201)
7. Lafayette (194)
8. American (144)
9. Holy Cross (118)
10. Colgate (80)