Army Travels To Bucknell For PL Championships

Head Coach Mickey Wender

Head Coach Mickey Wender

Feb. 19, 2013

WEST POINT, N.Y. - After taking nearly three weeks off from competition, the Army swimming and diving teams return to action this weekend (Feb. 21-23) when the Black Knights travel to Lewisburg, Pa., to compete at the 2013 Patriot League Swimming and Diving Championships.

The three-day event will be contested inside Kinney Natatorium on the campus of Bucknell University. Trials all three days begin at 10:30 a.m., while the finals will start at 6 p.m.

Tickets for the championships are on sale now through Bucknell's Campus Box Office. Tickets can be purchased in advance through the Campus Box Office by calling 570-577-1000 or online at www.bucknell.edu/boxoffice. Tickets will also be available for purchase at the Sojka Pavilion Ticket Window throughout the championship meet.

An all-session ticket is available for $35, a ticket for each individual trials session costs $6 and a ticket for a single session of finals is $8. Heat sheets will cost $2 apiece and are included with the all-session ticket.

Fans that are unable to make the trek to Lewisburg, Pa., for this weekend's meet will be able to watch all the action on their computer as all six sessions will be video streamed live online via Patriot League All-Access. The All-Access coverage is available for a monthly fee of $7.95. Fans that are already subscribed to Knight Vision, Army's official multimedia platform, will be able to access the video streamed broadcasts without having to sign up a second time. Live results will also be posted online at the Patriot League's official website (www.patriotleague.org).

The Army men will look to improve upon last season's third-place showing at the conference meet. The Black Knights, who have finished either second or third each of the past nine 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 four times since their last championship.

The Army women will hope to better last year's fourth-place finish at the league championship. The Black Knights' fourth-place effort in 2012 marked their best showing since 2007, and they'll be looking to author their first top-three placing since 2005 this time around. 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 their second straight league title, while Navy men aim for their 10th consecutive conference championship.

The Army men return four athletes who earned All-Patriot League honors following last season's championships. Senior Chris Nguyen, the two-time Diver of the Meet, and senior Ayman Andrews both collected first-team accolades after turning in outstanding performances at last year's meet. Nguyen won individual titles off both boards, while Andrews scored points in the 100 fly, 200 fly and 200 IM.

Sophomores Will Viana and Zachary Woods, who were named to the All-Patriot League second team last season, return for their second conference championship meet. Freshman Chris Szekely, who has proven to be one of Army's top swimmers in the freestyle events, has already set plebe records in the 100 free and 200 free.

The Black Knight women have been led this season by freshmen Natalie Beale and Molly Mucciarone. Beale has authored Army's top times this season in the backstroke and individual medley events, while Mucciarone leads the Black Knights in the freestyle and butterfly events. Mucciarone shattered the Academy record in the 50 free earlier this season, while Beale established school standards in the 100 back and 200 back.

Juniors Rita Snyder and Danielle Ullman have emerged as two of Army's top options in the diving events, and they will challenge for Patriot League supremacy off both boards this weekend.

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