Dec. 7, 2011
CENTER VALLEY, Pa. — After a flurry of activity last weekend with several Patriot League swimming and diving teams in competition, this week there’s just one meet and it has all of the focus. The annual Star Meet between rivals Army and Navy will take place Thursday at 6 p.m. with the Black Knights serving as hosts at West Point.
Patriot League Swimming and Diving Release - 12.7.11
Last week produced several strong showings. The top story is Bucknell senior Matthew Segar qualifying for the 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials in the 200-meter freestyle after clocking a time of 1:52.24 in the preliminaries at the U.S. Winter Nationals in Atlanta over the weekend. Segar eventually finished 29th in the event, and returned to Lewisburg, Pa., later in the weekend to capture a pair of first-place finishes in aiding Bucknell to a 171-127 victory over La Salle to close out the 2011 portion of the Bison’s slate. Bucknell settled for a split in the dual against the Explorers, with the women suffering a 164-136 defeat.
American returned to the pool and put a nice capstone on 2011 with a sweep of Howard on the road. The Eagles won 137-65 on the men’s side and 117-75 in the women’s meet. Senior Leah Breen captured the Female Swimmer of the Week award after sweep the 50-, 100- and 200-yard freestyle events. Sophomore Matt Wurm won two events on the men’s side, while freshman Melissa Parker was named Female Diver of the Week following her sweep of the boards against the Bison.
The Army men were another big winner last week. The divers posted strong showings at the Big Al Diving Invitational hosted by Princeton University, with Chris Nguyen scoring highly and capturing his second straight and third Male Diver of the Week nod of the 2011-12 campaign. The Black Knights capped off the week with a victory at the Zippy Invitational hosted by Akron University, taking first out of nine teams. Junior Ayman Andrews added his name to the list of Patriot League swimmers with an NCAA B-cut time this season, as his 48.32 in the prelims of the 100 fly exceeded the qualification mark by .02 seconds. He took first in the finals touching the wall in 48.38, and added another win in the 200 fly to pace the Black Knights.
As of now, the Army-Navy meet will close the curtain on the first let of the 2011-12 slate for Patriot League teams. Currently all eight League teams will take a break from competition during final exams and the Christmas and New Year’s holidays before returning in early January. Army is the first squad scheduled to compete Jan. 3 at the San Juan Invitational, followed by Lehigh and Navy with dual meets Jan. 7. The schedule picks up in earnest the following week, including several meets between League foes leading up to the 2012 Patriot League Swimming and Diving Championships hosted by Navy in Annapolis, Md., beginning Feb. 16.
Believe it or not, once the New Year’s holiday passes, there will be only about six weeks until the League championship meet.
Patriot League Weekly Awards
MALE SWIMMER OF THE WEEK
MATTHEW SEGAR, BUCKNELL Sr., Carmel, Ind.
Segar began his busy week as one of three Bison to swim at the U.S. Winter Nationals and was the only one to advance to a final. He clocked a time of 1:52.24 in the preliminaries of the 200-meter freestyle to qualify for the 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials. He advanced to the finals in the event and took 29th when he touched the wall in 1:53.61. Segar also competed for Bucknell in its 171-127 victory over La Salle and captured a pair of first-place finishes, taking the 200- and 500-yard freestyle victories. He was one of three Bison to post multiple wins versus the Explorers.
FEMALE SWIMMER OF THE WEEK
LEAH BREEN, AMERICAN Sr., Irvine, Calif.
Breen was instrumental in American’s 117-75 victory in a dual against city-rival Howard. She competed in three individual events and won them all en route to the Eagles’ 42-point triumph. She clocked a 25.31 to win the 50-yard free and touched the wall in 53.45 to win the 100 free. Breen added a win in the 200 free in 2:00.33 to complete the trifecta.
MALE DIVER OF THE WEEK
CHRIS NGUYEN, ARMY Jr., Cheshire, Conn.
Nguyen posted high scores this week and helped the Black Knights put forth an impressive showing at the Big Al Diving Invitational hosted by Princeton University. The junior out of Cheshire, Conn., posted a fourth-place showing with another NCAA Zone-qualifying score of 303.20 from the one-meter board and followed it up with 296.55 points in the three-meter competition for fifth place.
FEMALE DIVER OF THE WEEK
MELISSA PARKER, AMERICAN Fr., Livermore, Calif.
Parker continued with her very impressive freshman campaign. After setting school records in both the one- and three-meter dives earlier this year, the rookie out of Livermore, Calif., recorded a new personal best, set another school record and qualified for the NCAA Zones in March with a first-place score of 283.05 in the dual-meet victory against Howard. Parker completed the sweep against the Bison with a 228.90 to win the one-meter competition as well.
AYMAN ANDREWS, ARMY Jr., Sussex, N.J.
Andrews added his name to the list of Patriot League swimmers with NCAA B-cut times so far in 2011-12. He won the 100 fly at the Zippy Invitational in 48.38, but this 48.32 clocking in the prelims is what exceeded the B-cut and set an Academy record. He won the 200 fly in 1:50.27 and was part of a pair of second-place relay squads in Army’s win at the invitational.
MATT WURM, AMERICAN So., Sudbury, Mass.
Wurm won the 100 and 200 freestyles, helping to lead the Eagles to a 137-65 dual-meet win over Howard.
ELIZABETH PORCELLIO, BUCKNELL Jr., Fairport, N.Y.
Porcellio won the 200 IM and collected a pair of runner-up finishes in Bucknell’s dual meet against La Salle. Her 2:25.05 clocking in the 200 breast was a season best, along with her 1:57.35 in a winning effort in the 200 free.
Patriot League Notebook
SEGAR PUNCHES TICKET TO OLYMPIC TRIALS
Last year, at just around this time, 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 over the weekend 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.
ANDREWS HITS B-CUT AT ZIPPY
It was a stellar showing all around for the Army men at the Zippy Invitational last weekend, as the Black Knights captured first place out of nine teams. Adding to the great news for Army was the performance of junior Ayman Andrews, who broke invitational records in both the 100 and 200 butterfly events while adding his first NCAA B-cut time of the season in the former. He clocked a 48.32 in the preliminaries, exceeding the B-cut qualifying time by .02 seconds.
PARKER ADDS ZONES TO MARCH CALENDAR
A handful of Patriot League divers have posted scores worthy of competing at the NCAA Zone Diving Meet in March, and American freshman Melissa Parker became the most recent addition to that list over the weekend. Parker continued her impressive season to date by posting the second-highest score from the three-meter board in school history (283.05) in Saturday’s dual win over Howard. In addition, her point total exceeded the mark of 280 needed to qualify for Zones later this season. Four Patriot League divers have hit Zone marks this season, including Army’s Chris Nguyen, Lehigh’s Connor Styles and Bucknell’s Katie Hetherington.
ARMY-NAVY RETURNS TO CAMPUS SITE
A year after being contested at a neutral site for the first time in history, the annual Army-Navy tilt returns to a campus setting when the Black Knights host the Mids for their yearly tussle Thursday at 6 p.m. at West Point. Philadelphia served as the site for the Star Meet last season, with the Mids sweeping both the men’s and women’s competitions. As has traditionally been the case in recent years, the Army-Navy swimming and diving meet plays out two days before their battle on the gridiron.
NAVY’S B-CUT DE JA VOUS
For the second year in a row, Navy’s Mac Anthony and Laura Gorinski captured her first NCAA B-cut times of the season at the Nike Cup in Chapel Hill, N.C. Just as he had a year ago, Anthony eclipsed the B-cut in the 200-yard freestyle, clocking a time of 1:37.48 to finish second in the event at the meet a week before Thanksgiving. One of Gorinski’s strongest events is the 200 breast, and she surpassed the standard with a time of 2:13.82, which placed her fourth in the finals. Last season, Gorinski broke the Patriot League and Navy records in that event at the Nike Cup before surpassing those marks again two weeks later. Anthony and Gorinski were named the Patriot League Male and Female Swimmers of the Week, respectively, on Monday. Navy’s men’s 200 free and 200 medley relays also posted B-cuts, along with Mark Meyer in the 200 fly.
Top times for the student-athletes in the Patriot League are available by going to the Patriot League Swimming and Diving homepage at http://www.patriotleague.org/sports/c-swim/patr-c-swim-body.html. There fans can find the Top Times link in the sidebar on the right side of the page underneath the standings. That will bring up CollegeSwimming.com. To find the League’s top times in all swimming events, make sure to change the conference setting to “PL.”
NAVY AIMS FOR ANOTHER TROPHY
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).