Courtesy: Navy Sports
WEST POINT, N.Y. –– Success for the Navy swimming and diving teams continued Saturday as both teams defeated Army at Crandall Pool in West Point, N.Y. The Mids won the women’s meet by the score of 220-77 and the men’s meet by the count of 198-102.
The Navy teams combined for 26 victories in the 32 events. Additionally, Mids placed at least first and second in 16 events, at least first, second and third in nine events and first, second, third and fourth (only three can score points) in eight events.
Navy has now won the women’s meet in each of the last 32 years and the men’s meet in 30-straight seasons.
Each Navy team ends the season with 4-1 records. The lone defeat for each was a loss to Virginia. Army’s men’s team posted a 2-2 record this season and the school’s women’s team totaled a 1-3 record.
“It was great to get this meet in,” said Navy women’s swimming head coach John Morrison. “It is something both schools look forward to all season long and we are appreciative of Army’s efforts to host it during this challenging season.
“I am really proud of our team. It has been a long and at times frustrating season. To start and stop training and meets since the fall, including a three-week pause in February, was a challenge to say the least. But this team responded to that adversity, kept their focus and was able to end the NCAA season on a high note.”
“There are a lot of people here at West Point and back in Annapolis who worked very hard to have this meet take place,” said Navy men’s swimming head coach Bill Roberts. “We are very appreciative of their efforts behind the scenes that went into making today a possibility.
“As for the meet itself, our focus coming into today was on racing and competing. That has been what we have keyed on in training to make us the best team we could possibly be today. Our swimmers and divers did a terrific job in succeeding at that. We couldn’t be prouder of their commitment, dedication and all they have done for our program. They embodied all that goes into being a successful Midshipmen. We are so proud of and happy for each one of them for what they have accomplished today, this season and throughout their careers.”
The day began with the diving events being contested. Navy’s women’s team placed first, second and third in the opening three-meter competition. Meghan Gerdes (Sr., Spring, Texas) scored 309.53 points to win the event by 22 points over teammate Caroline Turner (Jr., Phoenixville, Pa.). Hannah Montau (Jr., Germantown, Md.) would earn the bronze medal in the event with a score of 264.90.
The first event for the men was the one-meter board. Navy’s Patrick Carter (Sr., West Islip, N.Y.) totaled 315.90 points over the course of his six dives to better teammate Jake Hedrick’s (Sr., Hummelstown, Pa.) second-place total of 303.90 points.
The same team results in terms of order of finish occurred in the reverse boards. Montau would win the women’s one-meter event with a score of 269.40 points, Gerdes followed in second with 254.63 points and Sarah Gurley (Fr., Oakton, Va.) placed third with 224.33 points. The men’s three-meter board saw Hedrick narrowly edge Carter for the victory as the former scored 343.35 points and the latter accrued 343.20 points.
“I know I say this a lot,” said Navy diving coach Rich MacDonald, “but I am really proud of these divers. It has been such a long and strange season and for them to stay motivated into April is very impressive. It can difficult to get excited for a dual meet this late in the year, especially for those who went to the NCAA Championship.
“I’m happy that Meghan, Patrick and Jake could go out on such a great note. They trained so well this year, and their finish was well deserved.”
Those results gave Navy a 32-6 lead in the women’s meet and a 28-10 advantage in the men’s competition.
The swimming events began with Army winning the women’s 200 medley relay race. The Black Knights posted a school-record time of 1:40.35 to edge the 1:40.97 effort recorded by the Mids. It marked Army’s first victory in the event since the 2014-15 season and just the second win for the Black Knights in the race in the last two decades.
The men’s relay also was a close one, but had Navy coming out on top by three-quarters of a second with a winning time of 1:26.75.
Each team is allowed to enter up to four swimmers in each of the 12 individual events. However, Army did not enter a women’s swimmer in the first event, the 1000 freestyle. That race between four Mids ended with Rachel Schlemmer (Fr., Sterling, Va.) recording a winning time of 10:05.67. She finished almost five second in front of Cameron Horner’s (Fr., Hebron, Md.) second-place showing of 10:10.07.
Four Mids and three Black Knights took to the blocks for the men’s 1000 freestyle. Navy’s Garrett McGovern (Fr., Nashville, Tenn.) touched the wall first in a Navy, meet and pool record time of 8:56.66. Placing second was teammate Luke Johnson (Sr., Charlotte, N.C.) in a time of 9:05.35.
The Navy women also placed first, second, third and fourth in the 200 freestyle, with Army swimmers placing fifth, sixth and seventh. Martina Thomas (Jr., Fayetteville, Ark.) just missed several records with her winning the race in a time of 1:45.80.
Navy’s Ryan Waters (Sr., Basking Ridge, N.J.) missed breaking a 23-year old pool record in the men’s 200 freestyle by nine-hundredths of a second with his winning time of 1:36.20. He would lead a 1-3-4 finish for the Mids.
Mids next placed first and second in each of the 100 backstroke races. Ashley Boddiford (Sr., Oviedo, Fla.) recorded a time of 55.48 to win the women’s race and Caleb Mauldin (Jr., Chesapeake, Va.) concluded the men’s edition with a victorious effort of 47.25.
Army swimmers earned the victories in the 100 breaststroke races, then Navy’s 2021 NCAA Championship qualifiers Sydney Harrington (Jr., Fairfax, Va.) and Micah Oh (Sr., Kent, Wash.) tallied wins in the 200 butterfly races. Harrington’s time of 1:58.41 gave her the victory by nearly two seconds and Oh’s effort of 1:43.99 allowed him a three-quarters of a second win.
The first half of the meet ended with the 50 freestyle races. Navy’s Sarah Sorsensen (Jr., Gainesville, Fla.) tied the meet record and bettered the pool record with her winning time of 22.94 in the women’s race. Army’s Josh Zock won the men’s race in a school, meet and pool record time of 19.71.
The 100 freestyle followed the first intermission of the swimming meet. Navy’s Martina Thomas (Jr., Fayetteville, Ark.) broke her own pool record with her winning time of 49.74, then Navy’s Jake Evert (Fr., Bethlehem, Pa.) broke the meet and pool record with his time of 43.71 in the men’s race.
Boddiford earned her second victory of the meet as she posted a time of 1:58.00 to win the 200 backstroke.
After a win by Army’s Tyler Kim in the men’s 200 backstroke, Navy’s Libby Miller (So., Gates Mills, Ohio) posted a time of 2:15.31 to win the women’s 200 breaststroke. Army’s Evan Zhang won the men’s 200 breast in what would prove to be the last victory by the Black Knights in the meet.
Each Navy team placed first, second, third and fourth in the ensuing event, the 500 freestyle. Grace Hastings (Fr., Cincinnati, Ohio) recorded a time of 4:56.64 to win the women’s race by one-half of a second. McGovern followed with a time of 4:22.37 to sweep the two distance races.
Harrington matched McGovern’s win total as she posted a time of 53.40 to win the women’s 100 fly by six-tenths of a second over teammate Amy Yunginger (Jr., Lititz, Pa.). Navy freshman Jonah Harm (Placerville, Calif.) then edged Army senior James Bilbrey for the victory in the men’s 100 fly. Harm recorded a time of 47.47 to better the 47.56 effort of Bilbrey.
The last individual event of the meet saw Boddiford earn her third victory of the day as she completed the 200 individual medley in a time of 2:03.34 and pace a 1-2-3 Navy finish. The Navy men improved upon that result by placing first, second, third and fourth in the 200 IM. Winning the race was Oh in a time of 1:46.98.
Navy went on to win each of the 400 freestyle relay races. The women posted a time of 3:20.73 to win by nearly three seconds, and the men finished the event in a meet and pool record time of 2:55.24 to win by 1.8 seconds.
With the dual meet season complete, the Navy teams now turn their attention toward the U.S. Olympic Trials in June.