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Men's Swimming & Diving

Navy Swimming & Diving Sweeps Army for Two Stars

ANNAPOLIS, Md. –– The Navy swimming and diving teams posted a sweep of Army Thursday evening at Lejeune Hall in Annapolis. 

Navy's women (7-1) recorded a 230-70 win to earn the program's 33rd victory in a row over the Black Knights (3-5), and the men's team (7-1) tallied a 158-142 victory to record the program's 31st straight win over Army (3-3).

The results from the night improves Navy's all-sport record in this year's Army-Navy Star Series, presented by USAA, to 8-1.

The women's team went over 200 points against Army for the fourth time in the last five years.  The lone time in this half-decade span in which the Mids did not accrue 200 points was in the 2018-19 meet when they totaled 199.5 points.

The men's team had its closest meet in the series since posting a 156.5-143.5 win during the 2016-17 dual.  Tonight, three years ago (173) and five years ago are the only times in the last decade in which the Mids did not score at least 190 points against Army.

"What an amazing environment," said Navy women's swimming head coach John Morrison.  "We were so thankful to have had fans, families, alumni and Midshipmen in Lejeune Hall.  It was awesome.  

"We are very proud of our Class of 2022. They lead from the front and really set the tone for the underclass."

"I thought our guys were really good where they needed to be," said Navy men's swimming head coach Bill Roberts.  "We were hoping for a little bit more in certain events, and if you misfire in a competitive meet like this, you are going to pay for it in points."

"As usual," said Navy diving coach Rich MacDonald, "it was electric in Lejeune Hall the entire night.  They saw a really exciting meet.  I am super proud of how we competed."

The Navy men never trailed, but never had any kind of comfortable lead, either.  The Mids placed first and third in the opening 200 medley relay to jump out to a 13-4 lead.  The foursome of Caleb Mauldin, Derek Nguyen, Jonah Harm and Callen Aulizia posted a time of 1:25.02 to win the race by nearly three seconds and break the Navy, Lejeune Hall and Patriot League record of 1:25.28 and the meet standard of 1:26.53.

A great race followed in the 1000 freestyle as Navy's Garrett McGovern held the lead for the majority of the race only to lose it with about 250 yards to go.  He stormed back on the last lap to win the race by three-tenths of a second with a time of 8:59.83.  The Mids also placed third and fourth in the race to extend their lead out to 27-9.

The margin quickly evaporated as Army took the top-three placings in the 200 freestyle to draw to within 30-25 of Navy.

Mauldin, who staked the 200 medley relay team to a sizable lead as the first swimmer in the water, had another great swim in the 100 backstroke.  He posted a time of 45.82 to win the race by three seconds.  An additional third-place showing in the event gave Navy a 42-32 lead.

Army's Evan Zhang held off Navy's Jonah Harm to win the 100 breaststroke by one-tenth of a second (53.39-53.49).  But with second, third and fourth-place finishes by the Mids, the Black Knights gained only one point in the team scoring (51-42).

The 200 fly followed and it saw Mids place first, second and third to stretch their lead out to 67-45.  Ethan Tack won the race in a time of 1:44.70, with Patrick Colwell placing second (1:46.59) and Ben Selnick finishing in third place (1:47.78), more than two seconds in front of Army's fourth-place swimmer.

Army gained one more point on Navy as the Black Knights placed first and fifth in the 50 freestyle.  However, the one-meter diving results saw Army place first and second to make the score Navy 82, Army 68 at the midpoint of the event.  The Black Knights pulled even closer –– 86-83 –– when the second half of the meet began as they finished first, second and fourth in the 100 freestyle.

Mauldin was able to earn a sweep of the backstroke events as he recorded a time of 1:43.70 to win the 200 back by 1.7 seconds.  The Mids scored two more placings in the event to take a 100-88 lead.  But it was down to a 104-103 score after Army placed first, second and fourth in the 200 breaststroke.

Navy gained one point (114-112) on Army after Everet Andrew won the 500 freestyle with a time of 4:22.92, then the Mids placed first, second and third in an event for the second time in the meet as Jonah Harm, Colwell and Selnick claimed the top-three positions (47.32, 47.82, 48.71) in the 100 butterfly.  That gave Navy a 130-115 advantage.

The second diving event concluded and it saw George Moore win the three-meter board in a score of 325.35 and Zach Peng finish third (312.55).  The results pushed the lead out to 142-122.  

"It was a great result for George to win the three meter," said MacDonald.  "It was an upset based upon the scores posted entering the meet.  He dove very consistently and it was great for him to win the board."

With the magic number to clinch the team victory being 151 points, a win by Navy in the last individual event, the 200 individual medley, would secure the result.  Tack did just that, leading from start to finish and winning by 1.32 seconds with his time of 1:46.18.  

"Throughout the last few events," said Tack, who knew what a win by him would do, "guys kept coming up to me and saying, 'you really need to go fast in the last race.'  There was a little bit of pressure, but it didn't hit me until afterward when I was thinking, 'if I messed up there, that would have been really bad.'  I just tried to swim my own race.  I knew the two guys they had around me had just swam the 200 breaststroke, so I really tried to push it on the that leg of the race."

"The 1000 free was not looking like it was going our way," said Roberts in thinking of key moments from the meet.  "To see Garrett have that extra effort at the end was special and motivating for everybody.  Caleb coming back with statement wins in the backstroke.  The guys in both butterfly events were electric.  We were expecting big things there and they did not disappoint.  Ethan was unbelievable.  Certainly the three-meter diving was a great turnaround from the one-meter event."

Army would edge Navy by 15-hundredths of a second to win the 400 freestyle relay in the final event of the night.

Conversely to the close men's result, the Navy women's team won 15 events and placed at least first and second in 11 events to comfortably extend the longest winning streak in Army-Navy history.

The tone was set in the first race of the night as the Mids placed first (1:39.79) and second (1:41.26) in the 200 medley relay.  Finishing the event first was the team of Megan Murphy, Riley Gavigan, Sydney Harrington and Sarah Sorensen.  

"Our first relay team was outstanding," said Morrison.  "The team just kept rolling from there."

The first individual event of the night saw Cameron Horner place first (10:03.05) and teammate Rachel Schlemmer finish in second place (10:06.20) in the 1000 freestyle.  Navy kept things cruising along as Mids placed first, second, third and fourth in the 200 freestyle.  Martina Thomas had a three-second margin of victory over Gabi Baldwin with her effort of 1:45.13.  That clocking broke the meet record of 1:45.29 set by Thomas two years ago.

Army's Lauren Carag would win the 100 backstroke, but that was followed by a first, second and third-place effort by Navy in the 100 breaststroke.  Riley Gavigan claimed the victory with her time of 1:02.23, which gave her a six-tenths of a second win over Sydney Bare.  Harrington won the next event, the 200 butterfly, in a time of 1:55.60.  She won the race by 4.5 seconds over teammate Grace Hastings.  The last swimming event of the first half of the meet was the 50 freestyle.  Sorensen fell just short of her own meet record (22.94) in winning the race in a time of 22.96.  

The eighth and final event before intermission saw Hannah Montau score 329.10 points to win the three-meter diving event by 36 points and break the meet (319.20), Navy and Patriot League (326.85) records.

Sorensen earned her second sprint victory of the meet as she posted a time of 50.81 to edge Army's Sammie Edwards for the win by two-hundredths of a second.  After that close finish, Navy swimmers finished in the top-four positions in the 200 backstroke.  Baldwin won the race by 1.6 seconds with her time of 1:58.05.  Emily Brockman followed by winning the 200 breaststroke by 1.14 seconds thanks to her effort of 2:14.70.  Then Thomas led another 1-2-3-4 Navy finish in the 500 freestyle as her time of 4:49.36 gave her a seven-second cushion over Horner.

Harrington would win the second fly event of the night, the 100 fly, with a time of 52.37.  She bettered teammate Caroline Irwin's second-place time by 2.3 seconds.  Montau followed with her second record-breaking effort of the meet as she scored 304.70 points to win the one-meter board by 37 points with her tally of 304.70 points.  That broke the meet record of 287.48, the Navy record of 296.70 (set 30 years ago by Stacia Johnson) and the league record of 303.40.

"It was a great night for Hannah with her breaking all of those records," said MacDonald.  "And it was great to see Caroline Turner post scores that qualifies her for the NCAA Zone Championship."

Haley Harris earned her first victory in an Army-Navy meet as she touched the wall ahead of the rest of the field in the 200 individual medley with her effort of 2:02.16.  Then Navy's team of Thomas, Sorensen, Brooke West and Harrington combined for a time of 3:20.82 to win the 400 free relay by four seconds.