Sept. 26, 2012
CENTER VALLEY, Pa. - Seven months after sweeping the 2012 championships, Navy has been selected the favorite in both men and women's swimming and diving in 2013, it was announced Wednesday. The Mids topped the men's preseason poll with the maximum 98 points with 14 first-place votes, and garnered the No. 1 spot in the women's voting with 95 points and 11 first-place tallies.
Voting was conducted by the League's swimming and diving head coaches and sports information directors who could not cast a ballot for their own teams.
Navy extended its own record with its ninth consecutive League title on the men's side in 2012, tying Army in the process for the overall lead. With 1,029.5 points, the Mids cleared the field by nearly 400 points. Last year's championship was a dominating performance for the Navy men, who won 18 of 20 events, including all 13 individual races and the five relays. Justin Vagts, a junior in 2012-13, wrapped up the second League championships of his collegiate career with the Male Swimmer of the Meet award.
On the women's side, the Mids thwarted Colgate's attempt at a second consecutive title and fourth in five years. Laura Gorinski, the reigning two-time Scholar-Athlete of the Year in women's swimming and diving, was named the Female Swimmer of the Meet in leading a Navy sweep of the major awards. One of the highlights of her championship was setting the League and championship record in the 200-yard breast on the third night, along with winning gold in the 400 free relay to finish the meet.
Bucknell, last year's runner up on the men's side, tallied 82 points with one first-place vote, ahead of Army's 77 points. The Black Knights logged the one remaining first-place ballot. Lehigh, which had a strong championship meet last season, was selected fourth with 63 points, while American logged 43 points to take fifth. Rounding out the men's poll were Colgate (sixth, 39 points), Lafayette (seventh, 32) and Holy Cross (eighth, 14).
According to the women's preseason poll, Colgate will pose the biggest challenge to Navy. The Raiders earned 88 points with four first-place votes to take second, while Bucknell (74 points, one first-place vote) came in third. Army edged out Lehigh for fourth with 58 points, while the Mountain Hawks settled for fifth with 54. The poll was filled out with American in sixth (33 points), Lafayette in seventh (32) and Holy Cross in eighth (14).
Though the Mids are favored on both sides, they will face stiff competition. The Army men will look to take a run at their rivals on the strength of senior Chris Nguyen, the two-time reigning Male Diver of the Meet, along with sophomore Will Viana, last year's Male Rookie of the Meet.
Colgate has been Navy's main rival on the women's side over the last several years. The trophy has shuttled back and forth between Hamilton, N.Y., and Annapolis, Md., regularly since 2008.
Bucknell should get a boost in February, when the 2013 Patriot League Swimming and Diving Championships take place at the Bison's Kinney Natatorium in Lewisburg, Pa. Competition will take place from Thursday-Saturday, Feb. 21-23, with trials beginning every morning at 10:30 a.m. and the finals starting at 6 p.m.
American is the first League squad in competition in 2012-13. The Eagles will participate in the Potomac Relays Friday beginning at 3 p.m. The first dual meet of the season belongs to Bucknell, which visits UMBC Saturday at 1 p.m.
2012-13 Patriot League Preseason Swimming and Diving Polls
1. Navy - 98 points (14 first-place votes)
2. Bucknell - 82 (1)
3. Army - 77 (1)
4. Lehigh - 63
5. American - 43
6. Colgate - 39
7. Lafayette - 32
8. Holy Cross - 14
1. Navy - 95 (11)
2. Colgate - 88 (4)
3. Bucknell - 74 (1)
4. Army - 58
5. Lehigh - 54
6. American - 33
7. Lafayette - 32
8. Holy Cross - 14