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Navy Sweeps Swimming & Diving Star Meet

ANNAPOLIS, Md. –– A standing-room only crowd once again packed Lejeune Hall to watch the annual Army-Navy swimming and diving meet Thursday evening, and the home teams did not disappoint the majority of those in attendance as the Mids swept the Black Knights by scores of 221-79 in the women's meet and 194-106 in the men's meet.
The event was part of the Star Series, presented by USAA.
The Navy women's team won 13 of the 16 contested events and placed first, second and third in eight of the 12 individual events to win the meet for a 31st-straight season.  The Navy men's squad won 11 events and placed first, second and third in five races to notch its 29th victory in a row in the series.
"We are very proud of the entire team effort today," said Navy women's swimming head coach John Morrison.  "The two Navy teams fed off of the success of the other, and each were inspired by the outstanding home crowd."
"I first want to thank everybody who supports the program to make this meet possible," said Navy men's swimming head coach Bill Roberts.  "That starts with everyone in the stands. It was an amazing turnout for this event and I cannot put into words what this means to our programs.  And to the support we received on the pool deck from all of those who helped behind the scenes, thanks for helping make this a memorable experience for the Midshipmen."
The meet could not have started any better for Navy as the Mids swept the opening 200 medley relay races.  The women's team, in fact, placed both first (1:40.15) and second (1:40.75) while the men's relays finished in both first (1:27.00) and third (1:29.65) places. 
"We challenged the team to take advantage of the home pool and jump out to great swims in the opening relay," said Morrison.  "They really set the tone for the entire meet."
Army's Kristen Gullickson posted a four-second victory (10:08.46) in the first individual event of the night, the 1000 freestyle.  However, the men's 1000 free started a string of five-straight races in which Navy swimmers earned the top-three placings.  Ryan Waters (Jr., Basking Ridge, N.J.) touched the wall in a time of 8:58.96 to win the race by two seconds over teammate Luke Johnson(Jr., Charlotte, N.C.) and also break the Navy (8:59.52) and meet (8:59.81) record in the event.
Martina Thomas (So., Fayetteville, Ark.) posted a time of 1:45.29 to win the women's 200 free by almost three seconds, then Daniel Cook (Jr., Virginia Beach, Va.) won the men's 200 free by eight-tenths of a second with his meet-record (1:36.00) effort of 1:35.70.
Jamie Miller (Sr., Rochester Hills, Mich.) followed with a winning time of 54.02 in the women's 100 backstroke.  That bettered both the Navy (54.04) and meet (54.10) records.  Closing the run of Navy wins was Caleb Mauldin (So., Chesapeake, Va.) as he won the men's 100 back with a time of 47.15.
Army swimmers swept the wins in the 100 breaststroke, then Sydney Harrington (So., Fairfax, Va.) took to the blocks in the women's 200 fly.  She would tally a time of 1:54.47 to win the race by 3.6 seconds and, in the process, lower her own Navy and league record (1:56.53), better the meet record (1:57.06) and break the pool record of 1:54.53 set by Olympian Katie Hoff in 2007.
The Navy women claimed the top three placings in the 200 fly, then the Navy men took first and second in the men's race with Micah Oh (Jr., Kent, Ohio) posting a time of 1:44.65 to edge teammate Ethan Tack's (So., Dix Hills, N.Y.) second-place time of 1:45.04.
The last swimming event of the first half of the meet was the 50 freestyle.  Sarah Sorensen (So., Gainesville, Fla.) led a 1-2-3 finish for the Navy women, with the Navy men finishing in second and third place.
The opening diving events of the meet saw Navy athletes claim the top three placings in both the women's three-meter event and the men's one-meter board.  Meghan Gerdes (Jr., Spring, Texas) won the women's event with her score of 312.00 and Bradley Buchter (Sr., Hickory, N.C.) won the men's competition with an overall tally of 376.43.
The second half of the meet began where it left off for the Navy women as the Mids took first, second and third in the 100 freestyle.  Thomas won her second event of the night with her clocking of 49.29.  Cook became the first Navy men's swimmer to win a second individual event as he posted a 44.48 to win the men's 100 free.
Navy women's swimmers kept their run of 1-2-3 finishes going as they did so in the 200 backstroke with Miller claiming the victory.  Her time of 1:55.00 was a new school (1:55.14) and meet (1:56.08) record.  Dominick Wallace (Jr., La Jolla, Calif.) made it a combined four-straight wins for the Mids as he claimed the victory in the men's 200 back (1:44.09).
Army won each 200 breaststroke event, then Erin Scudder (Sr., Western Springs, Ill.) and Waters earned the victories in the 500 freestyle races.  Scudder posted a time of 4:51.68 in a 1-2-4 Navy finish, with Waters recording a 4:25.05 to lead a 1-2-3 Navy showing.
Harrington kept her great night going as she won the 100 fly with a time of 52.12.  That effort, which was part of a 1-2-3 Navy finish, broke her own school and league (53.07) record and set a new meet record (53.66).  She would also win the next women's event, the 200 individual medley, with a time of 2:01.31. 
"Sydney and Martina were outstanding today," said Morrison.  "They provided sparks at opportune times."
Army would win the men's 100 fly and 200 IM to close out the individual swimming portion of the meet.
The second and last diving events saw Hannah Montau (So., Germantown, Md.) record 280.88 points to win the women's one-meter event by 26 points and Buchter accrue 390.30 points to win the men's three-meter board by nearly 65 points.
"I am very pleased and excited with how our divers performed this evening," said Navy diving coach Rich MacDonald.  "The environment at this meet is electric, and sometimes that makes it difficult to stay focused and reign in your nerves.  Army has some good divers, so I was happy when our divers responded so confidently."
Closing out the meet was the 400 freestyle relay events.  The Navy women's team posted a time of 3:20.56 to win its race, with the Navy men's team completing the event in a time of 2:56.36 to also win the race.
"So much credit goes to the athletes for their having the performances they did today," said Roberts.  "I cannot say enough about their commitment and loyalty to each other.  It is an honor and privilege to watch each of them train, prepare, fight and compete."
 Navy will try for 2020 Olympic Trial cut times Friday, then will resume its dual meet slate of meets in January.