Patriot League Swimming and Diving Release - 10.26.11

PATRIOTLEAGUEDOTORG Navy's Courtney Vandament swept the diving events in Navy's win at UMBC last week. She was named Female Diver of the Week Monday.
Navy's Courtney Vandament swept the diving events in Navy's win at UMBC last week. She was named Female Diver of the Week Monday.

Oct. 26, 2011

CENTER VALLEY, Pa. -- Lehigh will take on its second Patriot League opponent in three meets when the Mountain Hawks host Colgate Saturday at 1 p.m. in Bethlehem, Pa. The contest, which will feature both men's and women's competition, will be Lehigh's first at home this season, while Colgate is diving into the pool for the first time overall.

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The Mountain Hawks come into the contest after obtaining a split at West Chester on Friday. The men were victorious by a 136.5-106.5 count, while the women were downed 174-69. The men won seven of 13 events while picking up critical points with second- and third-place finishes in the events they did not win. On the women's side, freshman Alissa Leung continued her strong early showings by accounting for both of Lehigh's event wins. She clocked a 2:11.43 to win the 200-yard IM and won the 200 backstroke in 2:05.35.

The Navy men improved to 3-0 on the season with a 157-132 victory at America East favorite UMBC on Friday. The women also came out victorious, rebounding from their loss against James Madison with a 150-144 triumph against the Retrievers. The women were led by strong performances from juniors Kellie Darmody and Laura Gorinski and freshman Ange Sawick, who each won a pair of events on the day. Sawick took the 200 and 500 freestyles in 1:53.94 and 5:00.74, respectively, giving her four event wins so far on the year. Darmody finished first in the 100 and 200 backs, while Gorinski touched first in the 200 breast and 200 IM. Senior Courtney Vandament swept the diving competition and was named Female Diver of the Week.

On the men's side, Navy junior Justin Vagts took wins in the 500 (4:42.65) and 1,000 free (9:40.37), winning the latter by three seconds over teammate Will Norton. Ben Freedman won the three-meter dive and finished runner-up from the one-meter board to collect more points for the Mids. He was named Male Diver of the Week to complete the Midshipmen sweep of the League's awards from the board.

It was a strong weekend of competition for Army and Bucknell as well. Behind a pair of wins by freshman Will Viana and a three-meter diving win by Chris Nguyen, the Black Knights took down Massachusetts 177-112. The women were nipped 151-149 despite three individual wins from Alyssa Tran.

Bucknell swept George Washington in the Bison's first scored meet of the year. Sophomore Mike Nicholson was tabbed Male Swimmer of the Week for the second time in three chances this year with three wins over the Colonials, while freshman Stephanie Koziol won a pair of events and took second in the women's competition.

Competition resumes Wednesday when the Holy Cross women are back in the pool after the New England Catholic Invitational when the Crusaders host Siena. Navy entertains Virginia at 4 p.m. in its home opener in the only meet scheduled for Friday.

Both Holy Cross teams will be in the pool for a 1 p.m. home meet against Springfield, the same time Colgate and Lehigh will go head-to-head in Bethlehem on Saturday. Lafayette will open its season in a quad meet hosted by Loyola (Md.) that will also included Drexel and Seton Hall. That is scheduled for 2 p.m.

Colgate finishes off its busy opening weekend when it visits Yale Sunday at 1 p.m.

Patriot League Weekly Awards

Nicholson was the only Bison with three victories in Bucknell's 168-89 defeat of George Washington. It marked the second time in three outings this season that the sophomore was a three-time winner. He took the victory in the 1,000 free by 11.55 seconds with a clocking of 9:40.35, putting him fifth on the school's all-time list in the event. He won the 100 fly in 51.61 and captured the 200 fly in 1:52.56. Nicholson now owns top-10 times in five events at Bucknell.

ALYSSA TRAN, ARMY Jr., Yorba Linda, Calif.
Tran won three individual events in Army's meet Friday against visiting Massachusetts. She brought in first-place points for the Black Knights with wins in the 50 free (24.15), 100 breast (1:06.86) and 100 fly (56.36). The latter two times were both under two seconds shy of NCAA B-cut qualifications for the junior.

BEN FREEDMAN, NAVY So., Kennewick, Wash.
Freedman won the three-meter dive against UMBC by 28 points, taking first with 312.45 points, lifting his personal mark this season in the event to 3-0. He captured second from the one-meter board with 282.23 points, giving him his third top-two finish in the event this season.

Vandament swept both diving events as Navy edged America East favorite UMBC, 150-144. She posted a 235.20 in the three-meter event to win by 25 points, and added a first-place showing from the one-meter board with 227.32 points to win by 4.6. Vandament has combined for four wins in six tries this season, and joined Kellie Darmody and Laura Gorinski as two-time winners versus the Retrievers.

ANGE SAWICK, NAVY Fr., Abingdon, Pa.
Sawick captured the 200 and 500 freestyle events in Navy's six-point win over UMBC. She also contributed to Navy's second-place 400 free relay showing.

WILL VIANA, ARMY Fr., Stuttgart, Germany
Viana helped Army to its fourth straight meet victory with first-place performances in the 200 and 500 free along with a runner-up showing in the 200 back.

JUSTIN VAGTS, NAVY Jr., Crofton, Md.
Vagts clocked a 9:40.37 in the 1,000 free to finish 3.01 seconds ahead of teammate Will Norton for the win, and posted a 4:42.65 to win the 500 free against UMBC.

Koziol won the 200 IM and 200 back while finishing second in the 200 free in Bucknell's win over George Washington.

Patriot League Notebook

The Colgate women captured their third Patriot League crown in four years at the 2011 championship meet hosted by Bucknell. The Raiders officially begin the defense of that title and preparations for potentially a fourth title in five years when they go on the road to visit Lehigh Saturday at 1 p.m. It's part of a two-meet weekend for Colgate, which will head over to New Haven, Conn., Sunday for a 1 p.m. visit with Yale. On the men's side, Saturday's matchup between Lehigh and Colgate features two teams separated by just three points in the preseason poll.

The first Senior Day of the season occurred Saturday when American hosted the second half of a two-day tri-meet that involved its Washington, D.C.-rivals Catholic and George Washington. The Eagles, who also hosted the Potomac Relay Invitational two weeks before, will compete the rest of its 2011-12 schedule away from the Reeves Acquatic Center. American next competes Nov. 5 in a quad meet hosted by Navy that will also feature Bucknell and Lafayette. The Eagles will be used to traveling by the time the Patriot League Championships roll around Feb. 16-18 at Navy, though the trek to Annapolis, Md., will be the shortest of the seven taken by the League teams.

The Navy men extended their record run to eight consecutive Patriot League Championships last season when they captured the trophy at Bucknell. While the Mids have already secured the mark for most consecutive titles, they can focus on tying rival Army for the most men's crowns in League history. The Black Knights dominated in the early years of the League, capturing nine championships in a 10-year span from 1992-2001, with 1999 the sole exception when Lehigh won the hardware. If the preseason poll is any indication, Navy will pull even with Army in most men's championships at this season's meet in Annapolis, Md. The men collected the maximum 98 points and 14 first-place votes, 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).

Colgate has won three of the last four League titles on the women's side and led wire to wire at last year's championship meet with first-year head coach Fernando Canales at the helm. The Raiders will look for their fourth crown when the championships return to Navy's Lejeune Hall Feb. 16-18. 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).

The 2012 Patriot League Swimming and Diving Championships will return to Lejeune Hall on the campus of the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md., starting Feb. 16 and running through Feb. 18. Preliminary heats are scheduled for 10:30 a.m. with the finals starting at 6 p.m. Navy and Bucknell have alternated the hosting duties for the League championship meet for the last several years. The Mids swept both the men and women's titles the last time Lejeune hosted the championships in 2010. The men captured their seventh straight championship, while the women secured their record 10th title and snapped Colgate's two-year run with the trophy.

Patriot League schools once again excelled when the NCAA released its most recent Academic Progress Rate in May. Ninety-seven percent of League teams came in at or above the national Division I four-year average score of 970. In addition, over 65 percent of League teams tallied a score of 990 or better. Eighty-two teams from full-member institutions and 73 League-sponsored squads were awarded NCAA Public Recognition Awards for scoring in the top 10 percent of their sport's APR.

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