Army Breaks Five Records At Frank Elm Invite

Nat Beale Claims 200-Yard Backstroke Academy Record

Nat Beale Claims 200-Yard Backstroke Academy Record

Nov. 24, 2013

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PISCATAWAY, N.J. – The Army swimming and diving teams came out on top at Rutgers University this weekend as both the men’s and women’s teams competed at the Frank Elm Invitational. The Black Knight women, who placed third of 10 teams, broke three plebe relay records, while sophomore Natalie Beale broke the academy record in the 200-yard backstroke. The Army men finished first of six teams adding a plebe relay record in the 400-yard medley relay consisting of teammates Bryan Panaccione, Daniel Mo, Nick Bergstein and Sean Regan.

“We are very pleased with the performance of both the men’s and women’s teams this weekend,” said Army head coach Mickey Wender. “As a team we raced really hard in both individual races and team relays which helped us learned a lot about who we are as a team and what we need to do to continue to grow. I think what we can take away from this weekend’s invitational is that we are in a good position as we move on and continue to compete this season. I am especially impressed with Natalie Beale with her success in breaking the academy record in the 200 back and for the relay teams who broke plebe records. Coming out of midterm week we are taught of how much we have developed as a team this and hopefully can spring us into success for the rest of the season.”

On the men’s side the Black Knights accumulated 2646.5 points to take home the gold followed by West Chester University (1877.5), Drexel (1450), Villanova (738), Saint Peters University (287), University of Massachusetts (227) and Columbia (53).

Sophomore Chris Szekely opened the meet with a second-place finish in the 50-yard freestyle touching the wall at 21.27. Szekely continued to lead the Black Knights with additional victories including a first-place finish in the 100-yard free (45.25) and a runner-up finish in the 200-yard free touching the wall at 1:41.78.

Junior Will Viana took first in the B Finals of the 200 free with a time out 1:42.22 followed by junior Tyler Sowell (1:44.76) and freshman Regan (1:45.76) who took gold and silver in the C Finals, respectively. Freshman Max McKay collected third-place honors in the 100-yard backstroke touching the wall at 51.27, while classmate Sam Mo finished fourth with a time out 51.66.

Junior Josh Urnezis rounded out the individual victories for the Black Knights with a runner-up finish off the 1-meter board, taking away 267.10 points.

Competing as the B squad for the Black Knights 200-yard medley relay team of Bergstein, Jon Astashinsky, Maxwell Mckay and Nicholas Marks came out with a fourth-place finish and the plebe record as they crossed the line three seconds after the Army A team (1:33.60).

In addition, the men's 400 medley relay team team of Pannaccione, Dan Mo, Bergstein and Regan posted a time of 3:26.17, topping the previous plebe record time of 3:26.41 from 2009.

The Army women’s team collected a third place honors totaling 1312.5 points after Columbia (1378.5) and host team, Rutgers (1321.5). The Black Knights also went up against Wagner (1285.5), West Chester University (1171), Drexel (849), Villanova (732), University of Massachusetts (243) Saint Peters University (236) and Boston University (86).

Sophomore Molly Mucciarone opened the women’s meet with a first-place finish in the 50-yard freestyle clocking in at 23.44. Mucciarone also took home the gold in the 100-yard butterfly B Finals collecting a time of 56.08.

Beale, already an Army record-holder, broke her own academy record in the 200-back by 20 milliseconds claiming a runner-up finish, touching the wall at 1:59.20. The sophomore also finished third overall in the 100-yard back with clocking in at 56.53.

Three plebe relay records were broken in the three day event including the 200 and 400 yard medley relays and the 400-yard free relay. First to make it onto the plebe record list was the 400-yard medley team of Kelly Hamilton, Jessica Burkett, Ariana Bullard and Megan Grier. Finishing fourth, the plebe teammates swam for a time of 3:54.91 shattering the 2004 record of 4:02.88. Following their victory, the same team of Hamilton, Burkett, Bullard and Grier went on to shatter another academy record in the 200-yard medley relay with a time of 1:48.88.

In the final day of competition, the Black Knight freshman went on to collect their third plebe record of the meet in the 400-yard freestyle relay. Bullard, Hamilton, Grier and classmate Rachel Kim swam for a record time of 3:31.55, breaking the 2011 record by more than two seconds.

The Army swimming and diving teams return to action on Thursday, Dec. 12, when the Black Knights travel to Annapolis, Md., to face Navy. The annual "Star" meet is set to get under way from the Lejeune Hall at 6 p.m.

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