Patriot League Men and Women's Swimming and Diving Championships Preview

PATRIOTLEAGUEDOTORG Senior Mac Anthony looks to lead Navy to a ninth straight Patriot League Men's Swimming and Diving Championship.
Senior Mac Anthony looks to lead Navy to a ninth straight Patriot League Men's Swimming and Diving Championship.

Feb. 15, 2012

Patriot League Swimming and Diving Championships Page

CENTER VALLEY, Pa. — The most important three-day stretch of the season is finally here with the Patriot League Swimming and Diving Championships set for Feb. 16-18 at Navy’s Lejeune Hall in Annapolis, Md.

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The Navy men have set the mark for the most consecutive League titles with eight and aim to tie Army for the most championships on the men’s side with nine when they jump into the pool starting Thursday. Defending women’s champion Colgate looks to make it four titles in five years when the Raiders enter competition Thursday. Colgate’s three League titles are tied with Lehigh for third most on the women’s side. Navy leads overall with 10, while Army has four.

If the psych sheet is any indication, then it could be a great meet for the hometown Midshipmen, as the men and women combine to own the top seed time in 30 of 36 events, including all 10 relays, entering the championships.

The Mids boast several major award winners from last year’s meet. Senior Mac Anthony, who has been named a six-time Male Swimmer of the Week this year, was the Male Swimmer of the Meet at the 2010-11 championships, while sophomore Zach Ingold was the Rookie of the Meet. Both are mentored by Bill Roberts, the Men’s Coach of the Year last season.

The Navy women have sophomore Rheanna Vaughn, last year’s Female Rookie of the Meet, to buoy their chances of capturing their first League championship since last hosting the three-day festivities in 2010. Junior Laura Gorinski, the 2010-11 Scholar-Athlete of the Year in women’s swimming and diving, is also gearing up for the championships after another strong season.

The Army men, who finished second to the Mids last season, feature a pair of returning champions from 2010-11. Junior Chris Nguyen set League and meet records in winning the one-meter dive, while classmate Ayman Andrews took first in the 100 fly. Andrews is seeded first in the 100 fly, third in the 200 IM and fifth in the 200 fly entering the championships, while Nguyen was named Male Diver of the Week six times this season.

Like Army, the Bucknell men will aim to dethrone Navy as Patriot League champions. Sophomore Mike Nicholson will lead the charge, as he enters the meet in the top spot on the psych sheet in the 200 IM and 400 IM. His latter seed time is just two seconds off the League and meet records and is 10 seconds ahead of the rest of the field.

While Colgate and Navy garner most of the attention on the women’s side, there have been strong performances across the board this season. Army junior Alyssa Tran and American senior Leah Breen are seeded 1-2 in the 50 free, while a pair of divers have made waves in Bucknell’s Katie Hetherington and American’s Melissa Parker. Hetherington is a four-time Female Diver of the Week in 2011-12, while Parker captured the nod once. They will compete with a pair of formidable foes from Navy in Courtney Vandament and Jordyn Nicholl for gold.

Trials begin all three days at 10:30 a.m., while the finals are slated for 6 p.m. Patriot League All-Access will stream the championship meet from Lejeune Hall. A monthly subscription costs $7.95.

Patriot League Notebook

The 2012 Patriot League Men and Women’s Swimming and Diving Championships are here, and once again fans can watch all of the action courtesy of Patriot League All-Access. The All-Access coverage is available for a monthly fee of $7.95, which gives viewers the ability to watch the swimming and diving championships at Navy from the comfort of their own homes. Fans who already purchased an All-Access subscription for the men and women’s basketball seasons will be able to watch the live video stream of the swimming and diving championships at no extra cost. In addition, fans can purchase a yearly subscription to All-Access for $19.95, which would give them access to the second half of Patriot League play in both men and women’s basketball, plus championship coverage this spring and in the fall of 2012. An All-Access subscription will also give fans the opportunity to watch archived championships from this past fall, including field hockey, volleyball, and men and women’s soccer.

Tickets for the 2012 Patriot League Swimming and Diving Championships are now on sale through the Navy Ticket Office. An all-session pass costs $35, while individual tickets are also available for the individual trials sessions ($8) and finals sessions ($10). The swimming and diving championships take place Thursday-Saturday, Feb. 16-18 from Navy’s Lejeune Hall in Annapolis, Md. Trial sessions begin at 10:30 a.m., while the finals start at 6 p.m. Students who come to Lejeune Hall with a valid student ID card will be admitted for free. For more information, call the Navy Ticket Office at 1-800-US4-NAVY.

The Patriot League Swimming and Diving Championships return to Navy’s Lejeune Hall in Annapolis, Md., for the 2012 edition. It will mark the eighth time in history that Lejeune has served as the host for the event, after having also housed the championships in 1995, 1999, 2002, 2004, 2006, 2008 and 2010. Opened in 1982, Lejeune Hall is named after the 13th Commandant of the Marine Corps, Lieutenant General John Archer Lejeune, a member of the Naval Academy Class of 1888. Featuring a pool measuring 25 meters by 50 meters and eight feet deep, Lejeune Hall can seat up to 1,000 fans in armchairs in the spectator galleries.

The Navy men extended their record run to eight consecutive Patriot League Championships last season when they captured the trophy at Bucknell. Meanwhile, the Colgate women have won the League crown three out of the last four years and are aiming for another trip to the top spot on the awards podium. The Navy men collected the maximum 98 points and 14 first-place votes in the preseason poll, with Army (second, 83 points) and Bucknell (third, 73) splitting the remaining two. Lehigh was picked fourth with 59 points, followed by Colgate (56), Lafayette (33), American (32) and Holy Cross (14). On the women’s side, Colgate finished first in the preseason poll with 95 points and 13 first-place votes, but the host Mids were right behind with 87 points and the last three first-place ballots. It was the Mids who snapped Colgate’s two-year championship run by winning the trophy in 2010, when the League meet was last held in Annapolis, Md. Bucknell took third in the women’s preseason voting with 74 points, while Army was fourth with 60. Rounding out the poll was Lehigh in fifth with 46 points, American in sixth with 45, followed by Lafayette (seventh, 27) and Holy Cross (eighth, 14).

Navy extended its own record when it captured its eighth consecutive Patriot League Championship on the men’s side last season. That puts the Mids one shy of the overall record for men’s titles. Army owns the most men’s trophies with nine, having captured the championship from 1992-98 and again from 2000-01.

Navy junior Laura Gorinski set three Patriot League records while she and her teammates combined to break 25 others as the Mids rolled to a 226.5-73.5 victory at Army in the annual Star Meet between the Academy Rivals in December. Gorinski set League benchmarks in the 100- and 200-yard breaststrokes (1:00.72 and 2:11.10, respectively), along with the 200 individual medley (2:00.33). She now owns three individual League records, the most of any student-athlete, ahead of Erin McGraw of Colgate and Tara Chapmon of Navy, who have two individual marks apiece.

In early December 2010, Navy’s Laura Gorinski competed at the U.S. Short and Long Course National Championships in Columbus, Ohio. During the long course portion of the competition in a 50-meter pool, Gorinski qualified for the 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials in the 100- and 200-meter breaststroke events. Bucknell senior Matthew Segar will join Gorinski at the Olympic Trials after his performance in early December 2011 at the U.S. Winter Nationals in Atlanta. He qualified for an opportunity to vie for a spot on the U.S. Olympic Team after clocking a 1:52.24 in the preliminaries of the 200-meter freestyle, an event in which he eventually placed 29th.