Navy senior Laura Gorinski looks to become the first four-time winner in both the 100- and 200-yard breast events at this weekend's Patriot League Championships.
Feb. 20, 2013
CENTER VALLEY, Pa. - The most anticipated three-day stretch of the season has arrived for eight teams, as the Patriot League Swimming and Diving Championships are set for Bucknell's Kinney Natatorium beginning Thursday.
Trials sessions will begin all three days at 10:30 a.m., with finals set to start at 6 p.m.
Navy enters this year's championship meet seeking a repeat of last year's sweep at its own Lejeune Hall in Annapolis, Md. The men scored 1,029.5 points to run away with their ninth title, tying Army for the most in League annals. It was also the Mids' ninth consecutive championship, extending their own mark. Bucknell took second with 638.5 points, while Army was third and Lehigh fourth.
On the women's side, Navy wrestled the title away from Colgate, which has captured the 2011 championship at Bucknell. The Mids scored 933.5 points, while the defending champion Raiders logged 692.5. Bucknell placed third with 593 points, while Army and Lehigh were fourth and fifth, respectively.
Patriot League All-Access will stream this year's championship meet for the fifth straight year. Fans can choose between either a $7.95 subscription for a month, or the annual subscription for $19.95. With an annual subscription, fans can catch not only the swimming and diving championships this weekend, but also the exciting conclusion of the basketball season with a selection of games, plus upcoming spring championships and archived events from the fall and winter.
A total of 10 championship meet records were set in 2012, with seven falling in the men's meet.
Several important storylines are set to emerge at this year's meet. Navy senior Laura Gorinski looks to become the first four-time winner in the 100- and 200-yard breaststroke. Her career includes eight wins and one second-place finish in nine individual races at the championship. She's also the defending champion in the 200 individual medley.
Army senior diver Chris Nguyen swept the one- and three-meter boards a year ago and looks to finish off his amazing career at West Point by defending both titles. He's won a pair of crowns in both competitions, and wins at this year's meet would put him in select company. Only two male divers in League history have won three championships from each board - Navy's Kevin Teague and Colgate's Greg Sobo.
Patriot League Championship Notebook
BACK TO BUCKNELL
The 2013 edition of the Patriot League Swimming and Diving Championships takes place at Bucknell University's Kinney Natatorium in Lewisburg, Pa. Kinney has served as host several times before, most recently in 2011. The eight schools have also descended on the facility in 2003, 2005, 2007 and 2009. The Bison swept the championships in 2003, and it's been all Navy since on the men's side as it's captured nine straight trophies, including four in Lewisburg. After the Bucknell women won the crown in 2003 and `05, the subsequent four championships have been won by Colgate (2009, `11) and Navy (`07).
LOOKING FOR ANOTHER SWEEP
A season ago, the Navy men tied the record with their ninth Patriot League title, matching Army's nine from 1992-98 and 2000-01. The Mids also extended their own record with their ninth consecutive championship. On the women's side, the Mids reclaimed the title from Colgate. The two programs have split the championship each of the last six years. In all, the Navy women have captured 11 championships, and are seeking back-to-back trophies for the first time since 1997. There have been four sweeps of the championships: 2003 (Bucknell) and Navy (2007, `10, ` 12).
BISON SEEK HOMETOWN BUMP
Kinney hosted the Patriot League Championships for the first time in 2003, and it was a big event for the Bison, who swept the men's and women's crowns. The Navy men have dominated the men's competition since, winning nine straight titles, including four at Kinney. The Bison women have won two crowns at home, also capturing the championship in 2005, but have not taken the top spot on the podium since.
SENIOR SWAN SONG
Two of the most decorated swimming and diving student-athletes will be competing in their final Patriot League Championships this year. Army senior diver Chris Nguyen is the reigning two-time Male Diver of the Meet, and will attempt to defend that position as he seeks to put a capstone on his career. On the women's side there's Navy senior Laura Gorinski, who was named Female Swimmer of the Meet in 2012. She's the two-time defending Scholar-Athlete of the Year in women's swimming and diving. Several other seniors are also making their final appearances at this year's championships, and all seniors will be honored before Saturday's finals session.
PLENTY OF RETURNING AWARD WINNERS
Five of the six student-athletes named to major awards at last year's Patriot League Championships are back for another run in 2013. The only award (other than Rookie of the Meet) guaranteed to see a new winner this season is the Female Diver of the Meet, which last year was captured by then-senior Courtney Vandament of Navy. Navy senior Justin Vagts aims to defend his Male Swimmer of the Meet nod, as does Army senior Chris Nguyen, who has garnered the last two Male Diver of the Meet accolades. Navy senior Laura Gorinski is the defending Female Swimmer of the Meet, and has also captured the last two Scholar-Athlete of the Year nods in women's swimming and diving. Sophomores Wil Viana of Army and Ange Sawick of Navy were named the Male and Female Rookie of the Meet, respectively, last season, so they obviously can't defend their titles. But strong championship performances from each could put them in the running for the overall Swimmer of the Meet awards.
Navy opened strong and led wire-to-wire in capturing the 2012 Patriot League Swimming and Diving Championships on both the men's and women's sides at Lejeune Hall in Annapolis, Md. The Midshipmen men posted 1,029.5 points to claim a nearly 400-point victory over second-place Bucknell. In the women's championship, Navy scored a League-record 933.5 points to upend defending titlist Colgate, which finished with 692.5. The 18 event wins for the Navy men and 16 for the women were both championship meet records. In the men's competition, seven meet records and five League marks were bested, while a total of six records were broken on the women's side, including three championship benchmarks.
ALL WEEKEND ON ALL-ACCESS
Once again the entire three days of the Patriot League Championships will be streamed on Patriot League All-Access. Fans can purchase a one-month subscription for $7.95, or an annual one for $19.95, to view all six sessions online. A subscription also gives fans access to upcoming basketball games through the month of February, plus archived championships from the fall. For more, visit http://www.patriotleague.org/allaccess.
One can also follow the Patriot League on Twitter for updates on the Swimming and Diving Championships through the three days. Just follow along at www.twitter.com/PatriotLeague, or find us @PatriotLeague.