2023 Patriot League Preview: Army Men Take Aim at Navy’s Streak, Mids Still #1 for Women

2023 Patriot League Championships

  • February 15-18, 2023
  • Kinney Natatorium – Lewisburg, PA
  • 25 Yards (SCY)
  • Defending Champions:
    • Women: Navy (11x)
    • Men Navy (18x)
  • Start Times: 10am (ET) prelims/6pm (ET) finals
  • Event Schedule
  • Championship Central
  • Live Results
  • Live Stream

2022 Final Standings


  1. U.S. Naval Academy – 973.5
  2.  Bucknell University – 577.5
  3. U.S. Military Academy – 570
  4. Boston University – 471
  5. Lehigh University – 258
  6. Loyola University – 207
  7. American University – 195
  8. Colgate University – 154
  9. College of the Holy Cross – 146
  10. Lafayette College – 71


  1. U.S. Naval Academy – 874
  2. U.S. Military Academy – 740.5
  3. Bucknell University – 559.5
  4. Loyola University – 497.5
  5. Boston University – 242.5
  6. Lehigh University – 201
  7. Lafayette College – 194
  8. American University – 144
  9. College of the Holy Cross – 118
  10. Colgate University – 80

Editor’s Note: The timing system was malfunctioning during Army’s December 17th tri-meet with Northwestern and Miami so we are not counting any times from that meet as we can’t substantiate which ones (if any) are accurate.

Navy has controlled the Patriot League for years now. After the 2021 Patriot League Championships were cancelled in 2021 due to COVID-19, they got right back to their winning ways last year as they easily earned conference titles in both the women’s and men’s meet. Navy often sends a swimmer or two to the NCAA Championships, though all three of their qualified swimmers from 2022–Sydney Harrington, Martina Thomas, and Caleb Mauldin have graduated.

This year, the women should hold their position at the top of the conference, but the men’s side will be closer than it has been in years as their rival Army look to build on their rivalry meet win and challenge the Midshipmen for the conference title.

Swimmers To Watch


Owen Harlow – Sophomore, U.S. Military Academy: Harlow has been a revelation for the Black Knights. Already, he owns the Patriot League records in the 50 and 100 freestyle in 19.55 and 43.19, respectively. He’s the only man in the conference who’s been sub-20 this season, leading the field by almost half a second. He’s a true sprinter and is without a true third event, but he’s become dominant in the 50/100 free. With his sprinting ability, he’s a huge factor on Army’s relays–he split the only sub-43 in the field in the 400 free relay at Army vs. Navy, helping the Black Knights tie the league record of 2:54.68. We’ll talk more about this later, but Army looks ready to challenge Navy in the sprint free relays this year, which they need to do if they want a shot at the title. Harlow is a key part of that push.

Jonah Harm – Junior, U.S. Naval Academy: Last year, Jonah Harm won the 100 fly in record-breaking fashion, destroying the meet and conference records with a 46.27. He’s since been faster than that, clocking 45.81 at Army vs. Navy to reset his conference record. Not only is he the only one in the league who’s been sub-46 this season, he’s also the only one who’s been sub-47. That makes him the overwhelming favorite as he aims to repeat as league champion. In 2022, he took on an interesting 100 fly/100 breast double, finishing fourth in the latter (53.76). He also took fifteenth in the 200 IM. This year, he’s sitting sixth in the 200 IM which makes him a potential three-event ‘A’ finalist. Harm also swims fly for Navy’s medley relays, including on their conference record 400 medley relay (3:07.32).

Alex Edwards – Sophomore, U.S. Military Academy: In 2022, Edwards scored in only two events: the 400 IM (3:51.91) and 200 backstroke (1:48.19), where he finished fifth and sixth, respectively. He’s taken a big leap forward this season. He’s ranked first in the conference in the 100 back (47.22) and 400 IM (3:53.10) and third in the 200 back (1:45.91). While the 400 IM/100 back isn’t an ideal double, having Edwards improve from scoring in two events to three will be huge for Army, not to mention that he’ll likely score more points in the 400 IM and 200 back than he did last year. Edwards highlights why Army is able to challenge Navy this year–they aren’t just adding speed, their returners have all found another gear as well.


Lily Mead – Junior, Loyola University: As a sophomore, Mead won the 100 backstroke title and finished second in both the 200 backstroke and 200 IM. She’s one of the most versatile athletes in the Patriot League, with conference top 8 times in a whopping nine different events (50 free, 100 free, 200 free, 100 back, 200 back, 100 breast, 200 breast, 200 IM, 400 IM). She has a bevy of options for her lineup, and the fact that her lowest event rank is #7 in the 200 back could point to her opting for a different event on day 4. No matter what she swims though, she’ll be in contention for the podium.

Mimi Watts – Junior, American University: Watts is the centerpiece of American’s roster–last season, she earned two silvers (50 free, 100 fly) and one bronze (200 fly), becoming the Eagles’ first swimmer to medal at the meet since 2013. This season she’s stayed at the top of the conference; she’s ranked #2 in the 50 free and 100 fly and #6 in the 200 fly. Last year, Navy’s NCAA qualifier swept Watts’ three primary events; Harrington has graduated this season, leaving an opening for Watts to grab her first Patriot League title.

Haley Newman – Freshman, Boston University: The California native has made an immediate impact on the Terriers’ roster. The training has clearly been working for her too; she’s swum best times in seven different events since arriving in Boston. Five of those times put her in the top 8 of the conference, highlighted by her 4:21.88 400 IM where she’s ranked #1 and is over two seconds clear of second place. We’ll likely see her race the IMs and the 200 fly, but she’s also a big relay asset for the Terriers, with lifetime bests of 23.50/50.86/1:49.01 in the 50/100/200 freestyle. At their midseason invite, she also split a 54.58 fly on the 400 medley relay. Expect her to be all over the score sheet for BU as they try to bridge the gap and challenge the top 3 women’s teams in the conference: Navy, Army, and Bucknell.

Showdown Races


200 Freestyle Relay: Last year, Loyola pulled off the upset of the meet, defeating Navy 1:19.05 to 1:19.57 and winning their first relay title since joining the conference in 2013-14. They graduated half that relay and are sitting fourth in the conference this season (1:21.54), but we still may see Navy denied the win by either Army or Bucknell. Army boasts Owen Harlow, Will Rankinand Ben Vorthmann who are 1-3-4 in the 50 free conference standings this season. They rounded the relay out with Tanner Falls at midseason, and a big split from him could give them the win going away. It’s Bucknell who’s been fastest this season, with Justin Disanto, Leo Kuyl, John Gehrig, and Chris Fabian clocking 1:19.54. And of course, Navy could still take the win, as they have perhaps the most well-rounded relay, with four swimmers in the top 11 of the individual 50 free.

100 Breaststroke: After entering the transfer portal with plans to transfer this semesterEvan Yoo is still competing for Army. As such, he’s a big threat to sweep the breaststroke races here. He owns the top time in the conference this season with a lifetime best of 53.23, but teammate Kohen Rankin is just one-hundredth behind. There’s two other swimmers under 53 seconds this season, both from Navy: Jackson Schultz (53.35) and Nate Sukeena (53.87). With Schultz owning a lifetime best of 53.23, this is shaping up to be a tight race that has major implications for the conference title, as eight of the top nine swimmers are all from either Army or Navy.

200 Freestyle: This is race where the top six swimmers in the conference are separated by less than a second. In addition, the top six swimmers are all from Army and Navy, making this a crucial event in the race for the conference title. Army’s Sean Dwyer and Wesley Tate are 1-2 with times of 1:35.75 and 1:36.02. Last year’s champion, Everet Andrew sits fourth with a personal best time of 1:36.41. Given that there are already three swimmers faster than that mark this season, it will likely take another best for him to repeat as champion.


50 Freestyle: Three women have been sub-23 this season: Army’s Meghan Cole (22.54), American’s Mimi Watts (22.81), and Loyola’s Lily Mead (22.93). Cole leads the way, but Watts and Mead have lifetime bests of 22.72 and 22.88, respectively. That sets up for a great three-way race for the top of the podium. Additionally, Watts and Autumn Baumgartner are the only two from last year’s ‘A’ final who return this season, giving returning ‘B’ finalists and first years an opportunity to step up and score big points. Like we mentioned before, Mead has a ton of event options and may pass on the 50 free for the 200 IM. Even if she does, this should still be a great race between Cole and Watts.

200 Backstroke: The women’s side of the meet features many potential two-person races for the title, but the one we’re opting to highlight is the 200 backstroke. On paper, this looks to be a race between Navy’s defending champion Gabi Baldwin (1:57.31) and Army’s Layne Peterson (1:57.84). Both of their season bests are also personal bests. They both recorded their time at Army vs. Navy, making this an exciting rematch. They’re well clear of the rest of the field–no one else has been under two minutes this season. BU’s Lara Mitchell, who sits third in the conference, has a lifetime best of 1:58.81 from her third place finish in 2022, which means she’ll need a big lifetime best if she wants to get in on the action.

800 Freestyle Relay: There’s a huge gap between Navy and Bucknell–the top two teams–and the rest of the conference, but expect the race for gold to come right down to the wire. These two squads are separated by .75 seconds from their midseason times of 7:28.01 and 7:28.76, respectively. Navy is slated to win the women’s meet relatively easily, but Bucknell, who has the home pool advantage, will certainly challenge them in this relay on the first day of the meet.



  1. U.S. Military Academy
  2. U.S. Naval Academy
  3. Loyola University
  4. Bucknell University
  5. Boston University
  6. American University
  7. Lafayette College
  8. Lehigh University
  9. Colgate University
  10. College of the Holy Cross

The Navy men have dominated the Patriot League, winning every Patriot League title since 2004. But the winds of change have been blowing as earlier this year, Army defeated Navy in their rivalry dual meet for the first time in 32 years. The meet simulator predicts that Army will win the meet, and not by a small margin either–739 to 680 points. It doesn’t include diving, but when you factor in the returning points from last year, Army still comes out ahead, 801 to 786. Navy always shows up at conferences, and their streak gives them not only momentum but a lot of confidence. Army will have to show up at their absolute best to beat Navy, but it does seem like a real possibility that for the first time in 19 years, there will be a new team at the top of the Patriot League.


  1. U.S. Naval Academy
  2. U.S. Military Academy
  3. Bucknell University
  4. Boston University
  5. Lehigh University
  6. Loyola University
  7. American University
  8. Colgate University
  9. College of the Holy Cross
  10. Lafayette College

The women’s meet projects to stick to the status quo, with Navy keeping their streak alive, followed by Army, Bucknell, and Boston University. The simulator predicts enough of a gap between these teams that it’s hard to see diving having a similar effect on the scoring as it should in the men’s meet, though if BU’s divers are at their best the Terriers might be able to challenge the Bison for third. Expect a tighter race at the bottom of the conference between teams like American, Colgate, and Holy Cross.

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Douglass Wharrram Fan Club
9 months ago

There’s a huge gap between Navy and Bucknell–the top two teams–and the rest of the conference, but expect the race for gold to come right down to the wire.

Yeah, came down to the wire, but I believe it was another team. US Military Academy is firing on all cylinders!!

9 months ago

What changed your mind?

“The championship meet format means that it’s unlikely that Army will challenge Navy’s streak of conference championships, especially with the news that their breaststroke ace Evan Yoo has entered the transfer portal with the intent to transfer next semester. However, their win here certainly shows that there are plenty of races come February that are going to be a lot more competitive.”

Which team did something in the last 2 months? From what I’ve seen Navy has swum better in their dual meets since the dual meet.

gummy bear
10 months ago

Laf men aren’t losing to American lol. They beat them earlier this year

lil swimmy jr.
Reply to  gummy bear
10 months ago

You look at how Laf men do at championship style format meets compared to American men the Eagles win almost every time.

Reply to  lil swimmy jr.
10 months ago

Name the last time American beat Lafayette Men at Patriots hasn’t happened in at least 4 years. Just because American had a guy split 33 in an 100 free according to college swimming in a duel meet doesn’t mean they will beat them.

Quentin Miquel
10 months ago

It’s def not like we smoked colgate or anything

The President
10 months ago

I heard navy swimmers smell way better

Gummy Shark 3
10 months ago

I even heard they lifted day of

The Polar Express
10 months ago

Army’s “Much-needed distance depth” could be a concern

Reply to  The Polar Express
10 months ago

going to be tough for army, being forced to rely on guys like patriot league champion Ian Tansill and star meet winners Brice Birrieault and Wes Tate due to their appalling lack of depth

The Polar Express
10 months ago

Not too bad considering Army’s “much-needed distance depth”

About Sophie Kaufman

Sophie Kaufman

Sophie grew up in Boston, Massachusetts, which means yes, she does root for the Bruins, but try not to hold that against her. At 9, she joined her local club team because her best friend convinced her it would be fun. Shoulder surgery ended her competitive swimming days long ago, …

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