Army Wraps Up Day One At ECAC Championships

Haileigh Phillips

Haileigh Phillips

Feb. 24, 2012

Day One Results Get Acrobat Reader

ANNAPOLIS, Md. - The Army men's and women's swimming and diving teams wrapped up the first day of competition at the 2012 ECAC Championships on Friday evening inside Lejeune Hall on the campus of the United States Naval Academy.

The Army men are in second place out of 14 schools after the first day of action. The Black Knights have posted 158 points through the first six scored events and trail first-place Navy (210.5) in the team scoring. Columbia (145) is in the third position followed closely by Rider (143) and Bucknell (140).

The Black Knight women, meanwhile, reside in fifth place following Day One. Army has accumulated 100 points through the first six events to place within the top third of the 15-team field. Harvard leads the women's competition with 202 points. Marist lists second with 177 points, and Navy (175), Towson (119) and Army round out the top five.

The Army men began the evening by placing fourth in the 200-yard freestyle relay as the quartet of senior Byron Plapp, juniors Bill McCarty and Ayman Andrews and freshman Dion Hart teamed to clock a time of 1:23.92.

Freshmen Will Viana and Casey Woudenberg authored the most impressive individual performances for the Army men during Friday's opening night as both plebes wrote their names into the Academy record books. Viana placed sixth in the 200-yard individual medley, clocking the sixth-best time in Army history (1:52.52). Woudenberg, meanwhile, finished fourth in the 500-yard freestyle with the eighth-fastest time in Academy annals (4:32.07).

Andrews chipped in an 11th-place showing in the 200 IM (1:53.86), while sophomore Daniel Ruckman finished 12th in the 500 free (4:40.03).

Four Black Knights scored points in the 50-yard freestyle with Plapp (22.29), Hart (22.30), freshman Michael Dustin (22.47) and McCarty placing ninth, 11th, 12th and 16th, respectively.

The Army divers picked up right where they left off last weekend at the Patriot League Championships, securing three of the top-seven positions off the three-meter board. Junior Chad Drake led the way for the Black Knights, placing runner-up with a season-best score of 300.15 points. Freshman Josh Urnezis racked up 279.40 markers to finish fourth, while junior Vinny Franchino took seventh (232.65).

The Black Knights closed the night by turning in a fourth-place effort in the 400-yard medley relay. The foursome of sophomore Kenny Yacynych, freshman Joon Chung, Andrews and Viana completed the race in 3:22.43.

Freshman Haileigh Phillips led the Army women on the first day of competition. The first-year swimmer began the evening by teaming with junior Megan Metts, sophomore Grace Hamilton and freshman Keeli McNeary to place sixth in the 200-yard freestyle relay (1:36.73).

Later on, Phillips finished fourth in the 50-yard freestyle, touching the wall in the seventh-fastest time in Academy history (24.20). Two other Black Knights tallied points in the 50 free with McNeary (24.42) and Hamilton (24.67) placing eighth and 11th, respectively.

Phillips capped the night by joining with McNeary, Hamilton and freshman Sam Allen to take sixth in the 400-yard medley relay (3:55.45).

Sophomore Danielle Ullman paced the Black Knights off the boards as the second-year diver finished seventh in the one-meter event (219.80 points).

Action at the ECAC Championships continues on Saturday, Feb. 25, with the preliminaries scheduled for 10 a.m., and the finals slated for 6 p.m.

Championship Notes: Keeli McNeary clocked a personal-best time of 24.26 during the preliminaries of the 50-yard freestyle ... the clocking lists ninth all-time at the Academy ... two members of the Army program qualified for the 2012 Olympic Trials during the ECAC Long Course (50-meter length pool) Invitational ... Ayman Andrews qualified in the 100-meter butterfly (54.44) and Black Knight assistant coach Amanda Croix qualified in the 50-meter freestyle (26.34).

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