Navy Sweeps Army

WEST POINT, New York, November 30. NAVY men's swimming & diving senior Kevin Mukri (Silver Spring, Md.) won two and set a meet record in the 200-yard backstroke to lead the Midshipmen to a 196-104 victory over Army in the annual Star Meet at Crandall Pool on Thursday evening. The Mids upped their mark to 10-0 on the year in dual-meet action, while the Black Knights dropped to 4-2.

Navy won 11 of the 16 events on Thursday to extend its Star Meet winning streak over Army to 16 years and pushed its record to 40-29 all-time against the Black Knights.

In the women's meet, Navy won all 16 events in defeating Army, 215-85. The Mids improve to 10-0 on the year, while the Black Knights fall to 2-4 in dual-meet action.

The Midshipmen have won 18-consecutive Star Meets against Army and own a 22-4 all-time advantage over the Black Knights.

"We got beat in the first event of the night (200-yard medley relay), but our guys made the decision to go to work," said Navy head coach Bill Roberts. "The score was not reflective of the meet, as there were a lot of close races that we ended up winning."

Mukri established an Army-Navy meet record in the 200-yard backstroke with a time of 1:48.20, 0.29-second ahead of his time last year in Annapolis and more than a second faster than his previous effort at West Point. Earlier in the evening, he won the 100-yard backstroke with a time of 50.10 seconds.

"I am really pleased with Kevin's effort tonight," stated Roberts. "For four years, he has been a rock at this meet. It's great to see him and captain Andy Bockus, with his leadership, guide this young crop of talented swimmers."

Joining Mukri with multiple victories in individual events on Thursday was freshman Cody Reeb (St. Louis, Mo.), as he won both distance freestyle races. Reeb finished first in the 1,000-yard freestyle with a 9:20.90 clocking before registering a 4:32.76 showing in the 500-yard freestyle.

"Cody swam two great races tonight," said Roberts. "He really came on strong in the final laps of each race. Plebe versus plebe and seeing our guy come out on top, it's a great sign."

Navy senior diver Kevin Teague (Lexington, Ky.) won both events on the springboard to improve to 14-2 on the year and 105-7 in dual-meet action during his career. Teague recorded a 298.35 on the one-meter board before posting a 316.20 effort to edge Army's Greg Sievers by 1.27 points in the three-meter event.

Navy capped off the evening with a victory in the 400-yard freestyle relay. Junior Christopher Jenkins (Chicago, Ill.), junior Matt Wood (Evergreen, Ill.), sophomore Alex Oldenkamp (Coppell, Texas) and sophomore Preston Mihalko (Chesapeake, Va.) teamed up to record a time of 3:02.74.

Oldenkamp came away victorious in the 50-yard freestyle, as he finished with a time of 21.05 seconds. Mihalko followed with a first-place performance of his own in the 100-yard freestyle, completing the race in 46.05 seconds.

Also producing individual event victories for the Midshipmen were junior Kevin Kysiak (Western Springs, Ill.) and freshman Adam Meyer (Bethesda, Md.).

"Our team effort was outstanding today," said Navy head coach John Morrison. "Coming off a break, there's some anxiety. Army-Navy is our main dual-meet focus of the year and we came in confident but understood we had to perform well. We took control early and our team fed off each other throughout the meet. It was an enjoyable, exciting thing to witness.

"Army did have some great swims and put up a solid fight. I am really pleased with our win."

Freshman Mallory Dietrich (Pittsburgh, Pa.) helped break four Army-Navy meets records, three Crandall Pool records and two school records in winning three individual events and assisting on a relay victory.

Dietrich teamed up with sophomore Jennie Spencer (Smithburg, W. Va.), senior Aubra Thomas (Pittsburgh, Pa.) and freshman Thuy-Mi Dinh (Anaheim, Calif.) to smash the Crandall Pool, Army-Navy and school record in the 200-yard medley relay with a time of 1:44.69. Their performance broke a 30-year pool record held by the 1976 U.S. Olympic Team.

The freshman followed that performance by posting a NCAA `B' cut qualifying, pool, meet, Patriot League and school-record time of 1:02.94 in the 100-yard breaststroke. The freshman then set a meet and pool record in the 200-yard breaststroke with a 2:19.34 clocking. In her third individual title of the day, she won the 100-yard butterfly with a meet-record time of 56.38 seconds.

"Mallory is a special swimmer with a lot ahead of her and she knows it," stated Morrison. "She had a great meet. This is just the beginning of what she can do. It's great to see her step up as a plebe and help push the team to another level today."

Dinh also produced a solid showing, winning the 50- and 100-yard freestyle events. The product of Anaheim, Calif., recorded a NCAA `B' cut qualifying, pool, meet and school record in the 50-yard freestyle with a 23.33-second clocking. Her effort on Thursday bested the previous 30-year pool record held by two-time U.S. gold medalist Jill Sterkel. Dinh came back and claimed victory in the 100-yard freestyle with a meet-record 51.11-second showing.

"Thuy-Mi Dinh is a diamond in the rough for us," said Morrison. "She is truly developing herself as one of the fastest swimmers in the nation right now."

Also posting two victories over the Black Knights was sophomore Kelly Zahalka (Richmond, Va.). Zahalka established pool, league, meet and school records in the 200-yard butterfly with her 2:02.77 clocking. She followed that effort with a 2:04.33 time in the 200-yard individual medley to break an Army-Navy meet record.

Spencer came away victorious in the 100- and 200-yard backstrokes with times of 57.24 seconds and a meet-record 2:03.40, respectively. Freshman Tara Chapmon (Virginia Beach, Va.) won the 500-yard freestyle with a 5:01.16 clocking after finishing first in the 1,000-yard freestyle courtesy of her 10:19.31 performance.

Junior Katie Griffin (Ellicott City, Md.) won both diving events to improve to 15-1 on the year. She won the one-meter event with a score of 223.05 before posting a 254.63 tally on the three-meter springboard.

Freshman Sara Dorenkott (Hudson, Ohio) also set an Army-Navy record in the 200-yard freestyle, as she finished with a time of 1:52.08.