Patriot League Swimming and Diving Release - 11.2.11

Navy diver Ben Freedman

Nov. 2, 2011

CENTER VALLEY, Pa. — Colgate’s defense of its Patriot League Women’s Swimming and Diving crown started in strong fashion last weekend, as the Raiders posted a 216-80 victory at Lehigh in their first outing of the season. The Mountain Hawks were able to exact a certain measure of revenge when the Lehigh men took a 206-70 triumph over Colgate to earn the split during a snowy Saturday in Bethlehem, Pa.

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The weather outside wreaked havoc indoors, as the meet was run using just emergency lighting in the pool. With no electronic starting or timing systems available, the meet was run the old-fashioned way - with a stopwatch and a whistle.

The League’s other defending champions, the Navy men, have been in action a few times this season already, but Friday marked their biggest victory of the seaon to date. The Mids posted a 159-139 victory over Virginia in Annapolis, Md., collecting a victory over a Cavaliers program that took eighth at the 2011 NCAA Championship. Senior Mac Anthony won a pair of events and was part of a winning 400 freestyle relay foursome. The meet was competed in meters. Anthony and Ben Freedman completed a sweep of the men’s weekly awards Monday. Zach Ingold and Luke Hoffer joined Anthony has two-time winners in the showdown with Virginia, which has won four straight ACC titles.

Navy also captured both women’s weekly honors from the League Monday, with Laura Gorinski capturing the swimming award and fellow junior Jordyn Nicholl taking the diving accolade. The Mids competed hard before falling 159-124 to the Cavaliers, who took 13th in the NCAA Championship last season.

Like Colgate, Lafayette jumped into the pool for the first time this season. Originally the Leopards were to take on three teams in a quad meet at Loyola (Md.), but it was knocked down to two. The Leopards faced off against the host Greyhounds along with Seton Hall and finished in third place on both the men and women’s sides.

Holy Cross lost a pair to Springfield in action Saturday in Worcester, while the women also fell to Siena last week at home.

This week’s schedule is dominated by a quad meet at Navy that will feature four League teams. In addition to the host Mids, American, Bucknell and Lafayette will venture to Annapolis, Md., for the competition. It will give student-athletes from the three visiting teams an opportunity to visit the site of the 2012 Patriot League Swimming and Diving Championships, set for Feb. 16-18.

Army and Lehigh will be in action this weekend as well, though neither will be in Annapolis. The Black Knights will return to competition after a weekend off when they host Connecticut Saturday at 2 p.m. Lehigh continues its busy schedule as well when it hosts Rider at 1 p.m.

Colgate and Holy Cross are idle this week. The Raiders return to action the following weekend, while the Crusaders hit the pool again Nov. 18.

Patriot League Weekly Awards

MAC ANTHONY, NAVY Sr., Allentown, Pa.
Anthony earned three top-three finishes, including two individual victories, and was part of Navy’s winning 400-meter freestyle relay in the Mids’ landmark 159-139 victory over Virginia Friday in Annapolis, Md. The Cavaliers are a perennial ACC power, having won four straight conference titles and finished eighth at the 2011 NCAA Championship. Anthony won the 200-meter free in 1:50.07 and the 200 back in 2:02.81, while his 3:57.33 in the 400 free was good for third. He also swam the fastest anchor leg in the 400 free relay win, with his 50.45 clocking nearly two seconds better than the next-fastest swimmer.

LAURA GORINSKI, NAVY Jr., Greensburg, Pa.
Gorinski earned second-place finishes in the 100- and 200-meter breast events Friday in Navy’s 159-124 loss to Virginia. She finished the 100 in 1:13.13 and clocked a 2:35.81 in the 200. Gorinski finished runner-up in both races to Christine Olson, a 2010 Honorable Mention All-American in the 200 breast. Gorinski added a fifth-place finish in the 200 IM in 2:23.56 and was part of her team’s third-place foursome in the 200 medley relay. Virginia finished 13th in last season’s NCAA Championship.

BEN FREEDMAN, NAVY So., Kennewick, Wash.
Freedman captured his third diving award in the last four weeks with a pair of top-three finishes in Navy’s 20-point victory against Virginia. He finished in second place with 314.02 points from the 1-meter board, and added a third-place showing in the 3-meter competition with 301.72 points. He was 17.56 points out of second from that board.

Nicholl won the 1-meter competition by 1.35 points, posting a 231.52 to garner first-place points for the Mids in their competition against Virginia at Lejeune Hall in Annapolis, Md. It was Nicholl’s first victory of the season. The junior also placed fifth from the 3-meter board with 188.17 points.

Patriot League Notebook

Navy will host American, Bucknell and Lafayette Saturday for a smaller version of what will take place in February when all eight schools vie for the crowns at the Patriot League Championships at Lejeune Hall. It’s not like the three visitors aren’t already familiar with the setup at Lejeune, which serves as the host of the League meet every February in even years. It does, however, mark the first time this season that four League squads will all be competing in the same meet. The events are scheduled to start at 12 p.m.

American’s involvement in the quad meet at Navy marks the Eagles’ first competition in three weeks. American was last in action Oct. 14-15 during a three-way meet that included local rivals George Washington and Catholic. It was an unscored meet. Meanwhile, Saturday marks Bucknell’s third meet of the season. The Bison opened Oct. 1 in an unscored meet versus UMBC, was idle for two weeks and returned to action Oct. 22 with a pair of victories against George Washington.

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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