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Army Swimming And Diving Readies For Patriot League Championships

Feb. 23, 2005

WEST POINT, N.Y. - The Army swimming and diving teams return to Lewisburg, Pa., for the third and final time this season on Thursday as the Black Knights open competition at the Patriot League Championships at the Kinney Natatorium.

Army was last in action at the non-team scoring Bison Invitational on Feb. 12, at the Kinney Natatorium. The Black Knights first visited Lewisburg on Nov. 20, 2004, when they faced Bucknell in a Patriot League dual meet.

The Army women's swimming and diving team finished the season with a record of 6-4 (4-3 Patriot League). It was the highest win total by an Army squad in conference competition since joining the Patriot League in 1990. The 2004-05 campaign also marked the first time in program history that the Black Knights faced every team in the Patriot League.

The Black Knights will look to improve on a fourth place finish from the 2004 Patriot League Championships. Army racked up 486.50 points en route to finishing 33.5 points behind third-place Colgate. Junior Chelsea Haviland picked up Patriot League Championship "Diver of the Meet" accolades for the second-consecutive season last year after she won both the one- and three-meter diving competitions. Jonathan Johnson was also named "Diving Coach of the Year". Host Bucknell is the defending champion.
 

 

Army is led in the pool by sophomore Page Carol Clark, who holds the fastest time in the conference in the 50-yard freestyle this season (23.62 seconds) and freshman Sarah Heine, who holds the quickest Patriot League time in the 200 freestyle (1:53.78). Clark's time in the 50 freestyle, which she recorded during the Black Knights annual meet with Navy, is an Academy record.

This season, the Army women's swimming and diving team earned seven Patriot League weekly awards, three Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) citations and one Army Athletic Association "Athlete of the Week" certificate.

The Army men's swimming and diving team will try to improve on its third place showing from the 2004 Patriot League Championships. The Black Knights were 8-2 on the season and 6-1 in the Patriot League. It was the most wins posted by an Army squad in conference action since the Black Knights joined the Patriot League in 1990. The 2004-05 campaign also marked the first time in program history that the Black Knights faced every team in the Patriot League. Army registered 495.5 points at last season's championship meet finishing 34.5 markers behind Bucknell for second place. Head coach John O'Neill was named "Coach of the Year in 2004 and Johnson was also honored on the men's side with "Diving Coach of the Year" laurels. Navy is the defending champion.

The Black Knights return a pair of defending champions from last season's event. Senior captain Kevin Burke won the 1,650 freestyle and sophomore Zach Disbrow was victorious in the 200 butterfly. Disbrow also holds the top time this season in the Patriot League in the 200 butterfly (1:51.30). Classmate Efri Ruthenberg registered the quickest time in the conference this season in the 200 (1:38.20) and 500 freestyle (4:30.86). Freshman Jake Mentele recorded the fastest time in the Patriot League in the 200 breaststroke (2:04.75) and the 200 IM (1:54.41).

Army received 11 Patriot League weekly awards this season and one ECAC honor. Junior diver Doug Klein led all Black Knights with six Patriot League "Diver of the Week" awards, including three in a row from Jan. 18 - Feb. 1.

The Patriot League Championships begin on Thursday morning at 10:30 a.m. and run through Saturday night.

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