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
After a back and forth session, it came down to the 400 free relay to decide the 2023 Men’s Patriot League champions.
Navy held a four point lead over Army, but Army was the top seed in the relay, and had beaten Navy in this same relay to secure a win in their dual meet earlier this season.
Army is lane 4, with Navy above them in lane 5.
Jonah Harm put the Midshipmen ahead of Army after the first 100, leading off in 43.75, with Tanner Falls close behind in 43.95. Next, sophomore Austin Lockhart split 43.90, but Army’s Ben Vorthmann closed the gap to just .15 seconds with a 43.85. Everet Andrew clawed the lead out again for Navy in 43.85, with Will Rankin clocking 43.80 for Army. Garrett McGovern dove in for Navy exactly a half-second ahead of Army anchor Owen Harlow.
Immediately, Harlow began to close the gap to McGovern. At the 50-yard mark, the sophomore had eked out Army’s first lead of the relay, flipping a tenth ahead of McGovern. Harlow was still ahead at the final turn, but McGovern pushed his underwater and in the home stretch he pulled himself back even with Harlow. McGovern split 42.99 to give Navy the win in 2:54.09, just .34 seconds ahead of the Black Knights. Harlow’s 42.83 split was the fastest in the field and Army’s 2:54.43 was a new Academy record.
Neither team was leading the field at the first exchange though. Thanks to 100 free individual champion Caleb Kelly (43.60), it was the Greyhounds who led after 100-yards. Though the Greyhounds didn’t have the depth to hang with Army and Navy, they were locked in an exciting race with Bucknell for third. Max Verheyen, the 400 IM champion, held off a charging Chris Fabian to grab third in 2:56.32, two-hundredths ahead of Bucknell.
The Black Knights began to close the gap to Navy in the 1650 free, where they swept the podium. Brice Barrieault, who was later named Men’s Rookie of the Meet, clocked 15:09.45 to win. Ian Tansill swam 15:12.83 for second and out of the early heats, Wes Tate dropped over five seconds to place third in 15:15.59.
They kept rolling in the 200 back with a 2-3-4-5 finish behind conference champion Henry Mueller of Loyola (1:44.42). That swim marks Mueller’s first time sub-1:45. With the 62 points they picked up from this event, Army took the overall lead from Navy by 38 points.
Kelly won the 100 freestyle, giving Loyola it’s second conference champion in as many events. Kelly swam a meet record 43.27 to win gold. The time is a new personal best for him, undercutting the 43.63 he earned silver with last year. Navy’s Andrew got silver in 43.72, and Bucknell’s Leo Kuyl lowered his school record for the second time that day to earn bronze in 43.92–his first swim sub-44.
After the 100 freestyle, Army was still ahead of Navy, thanks to Harlow, Falls, and Vorthmann finishing 4-6-8 to outscore Andrew and Lockhart’s 2-7 placement.
Army’s Kohen Rankin won the 200 breast in an Academy record 1:54.80, earning a sweep of the breaststrokes at this meet. His teammate Bruce Bannister took bronze in 1:57.42, while Navy’s Jackson Schultz finished second in 1:55.15. Army still held a lead, but Navy had four swimmers in the ‘A’ final, allowing them to start closing the gap.
Pat Colwell won the final individual event of the meet, the 200 fly, in 1:45.08. Bucknell’s butterfly duo of John Gehrig and Shane Wynne went 2-3 to put two Bison onto the podium. It was a tight race between Colwell and Gehrig, as Colwell pulled ahead on the final 50 and out-touched Gehrig by five-hundredths.
The entire final was close actually, as third through seventh finished within .45 seconds of each other. Navy went 2/1 in the event compared to Army’s 1/0, so it was here that Navy regained control of the lead by just four points heading into the relay.
Navy won the meet by 10 points, the narrowest margin of victory during their winning streak. It’s the second narrowest margin of victory in the men’s history of the conference. The only meet closer was in 1994, when Army beat Lehigh by 8.5 points.
- Navy – 856.5
- Army – 846.5
- Bucknell – 538.5
- Loyola – 455
- BU – 247
- Lehigh – 180.5
- American – 148.5
- Lafayette – 132
- Holy Cross – 110
- Colgate – 107