Army Travels To Navy For PL Championships

Army Head Coach Mickey Wender

Army Head Coach Mickey Wender

Feb. 18, 2014

WEST POINT, N.Y.  – After taking nearly three weeks off from competition, the Army swimming and diving teams return to action this weekend, Feb. 19-22, when the Black Knights travel to Annapolis, Md., to compete in the 2014 Patriot League Swimming and Diving Championships.

The four-day event will be contested inside Lejuene Hall on the United State Naval Academy grounds. Trials begin at 2 p.m. on Wednesday and at 10:30 a.m. on the following days, while finals will start at 6 p.m.

Tickets for the championship are now on sale through the Navy Ticket Office either by phone at 1-800-US4-NAVY or online at NavySports.com. With the expansion of the Patriot League to 10 teams this season and Lejeune Hall having a 1,000-seat capacity, fans are encouraged to purchase their tickets in advance of the meet.

An all-session pass for either meet is $40, a ticket to attend a trial heat session costs $10 and tickets for an individual session of finals is $12. In addition, ticket prices for each event are the same.

Fans that are unable to make the trek to Annapolis, Md., for this weekend’s meet will be able to watch all the action from their computer as all eight sessions will be video steamed live online via the Patriot League Network. Nearly every session will have a free live video stream available.  The only one that may not have a stream is the timed finals for the 1650 freestyle events that take place prior to the start of the finals on Saturday. The stream for the Patriot League Network can be found on the Patriot League official website or by clicking the link here.

No vehicle driven by a person without a Department of Defense ID card will be allowed to drive onto the USNA grounds.  This means all fans have two options to attend the meet.  The first option is to park outside gate one and walk through the security gate, with Lejeune Hall being the first building across from the entrance. In turn, fans are also encouraged to park at the football stadium ($5 per vehicle) and ride the free shuttle bus to and from the USNA.  

The Army men will look to improve upon last season’s runner-up finish at the conference meet. The Black Knights, who have finished either second of third each of the past 10 seasons, are in search of their first championship title since 2001. Army won seven consecutive conference crowns (1992-98) and nine of 10 league titles during a decade of dominance (1992-2001), and the Black Knights have placed runner-up five times since their last championship.

The Army women will hope to best last year’s fourth place-finish at the league championships. The Black Knights fourth-place effort 2013 marked their best showing since 2007, and will look to author their second top-three placing since 2005 in this year’s meet. Army’s women won the inaugural Patriot League Championship in 1991, but have not recaptured that glory since. They have recorded four-runner up finishes all-time, the last coming in 1998.

The Navy women are seeking an third-straight league title, while the Navy men aim for an 11th consecutive conference championship.

The Army men return six athletes who earned All-Patriot League honors following last year’s Patriot League Championships. Juniors Will Viana and Zachary Woods were both selected to the all-conference second team for the second straight year and were joined by junior Michael Dustin and sophomores Sam Mo, Chris Szekely and Richard Xue on the second unit.

The Black Knight women return 2013 Patriot League first-team swimmer Molly Mucciarone in addition to senior Grace Hamilton and sophomore Natalie Beale, who earned second-team laurels after last season’s championship. Freshmen Ariana Bullard, Danielle Nuszkowski and Megan Grier have all made an impact in the pool in their first collegiate season, leading the team with record-breaking performances during the year.

Patriot League Championship Schedule

Wed., Feb. 19
2 p.m. - Diving Trials (no charge to attend this session)
6 p.m. - Swimming & Diving Finals

Thurs., Feb. 20
10:30 a.m. - Swimming Trials
1 p.m. - Diving Trials
6 p.m. - Swimming & Diving Finals

Fri., Feb. 21|
10:30 a.m. - Swimming Trials
1 p.m. - Diving Trials
6 p.m. - Swimming & Diving Finals

Sat., Feb. 22
10:30 a.m. - Swimming Trials
1 p.m. - Diving Trials
6 p.m. - Swimming & Diving Finals

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