Oct. 4, 2013
WEST POINT, N.Y. – The Army men’s and women’s swimming and diving team opened up the 2013-14 season at Crandall Pool on Friday, Oct. 4. The Black Knights hosted Patriot League newcomer Boston University and Vermont (women).
The Army men (1-0) defeated Boston University (157-139), while the Black Knight women (1-1) collected a win over Vermont (197-103) but fell to Boston University (154-146).
Army’s men won six of the first 11 events in the pool before the team swam in mixed events for the final races. Sophomores Chris Szekely and Sam Mo each posted a pair of wins in the mid-distance events to pace the Black Knights in the pool, while junior Josh Urnezis swept both diving events to lead the Army men off the boards.
“I was very encouraged with the performance of both the men’s and women’s team tonight,” said Army head coach Mickey Wender. “There was a lot of heart and character shown tonight and as a coach you can’t ask for more than that. We were really impressed with our plebes, especially on the women’s side. There were winners in multiple events including Arianna Bullard, Jessica Burkett, Megan Grier, Danielle Nszukowski and Karolina Poderski.”
Freshman Ariana Bullard had a hand in two victories in the pool, while classmates Megan Grier, Jessica Burkett and Danielle Nuszkowski each pulled in a win to help score points for the Army women’s team in their season-opening event.
“The showing was just tremendous and it shows how well we are going to do this season,” said Wender. “For our guys it was more of a battle and I give Boston University a lot of credit. They came into this league and it is a semi-hostile environment and they really put it all out there in a great effort. To be able to do that on the road is great. We’re really proud of our team as it looks like we are setting ourselves up for a great season. While you can always wish that it went the other way for the women’s team versus BU, today’s performance was ultimately positive. We are really looking forward to see what the rest of the season holds for us.”
Bullard, competing in her first collegiate meet, looked nothing like a plebe as the first-year performer from Carmel, Ind., took the gold in the 100 fly and 200 IM. Bullard won the 100-yard freestyle with a clocking of 56.21 seconds. A few races later, she claimed first-place honors in the 200 IM with a time of 2 minutes, 08.01 seconds. In addition, the plebe swimmer took the silver in the 200-yard butterfly
Fellow freshman Grier pulled in a first-place finish in the 200-yard freestyle touching the wall at 1 minute and 53.30 seconds. Grier also had a first-place finish in the 100-yard freestyle clocking in at 52.68 seconds.
Freestyle swimmer Nuszkowski also had an impressive performance in her first collegiate meet rallying a second and third-place finish in the long distance events. The Miami, Fla., resident swam for a third-place finish and a time of 5 minutes, 06.53 seconds in the 500-yard freestyle, and came in second in the 1000-yard freestyle clocking in at 10:34.55.
Plebe Burkett and sophomore Nat Beale rounded out Army’s list of individual winners on the night, taking 100-yard breaststroke (1:07.97) and the 200-yard backstroke (2:06.70), respectively. Burkett also had a second-place showing in the 200 IM (2:09.61), while fellow plebes Kelly Hamilton and Michaela Loomis also took second in their respective events.
Senior trio divers of Danielle Ullman, Rita Snyder and co-captain Breawna Davis, each scored points versus BU and Vermont. Ullman took second off the 1-meter board scoring 234.85 points, followed by Snyder who had a third-place finish with 222.30 points. Davis came through on the 3-meter board with a third-place finish with 247.10 points.
The Army men’s team also had an impressive showing as returning teammates and newcomers earned their first win of the season.
Sophomore Chris Szekely came right back to where he started after a successful plebe year last season, as he took the gold in both the 100 free and 200 free. Szekely won the 100-yard freestyle with a clocking of 46.44 seconds. He also claimed first-place honors in the 200-yard freestyle in a time of 1:41.78.
Junior Casey Woudenberg also returned as a force for the men recording two first-place finishes on Friday. Woudenberg won the 500-yard freestyle clocking in at 4:44.19. Freshman Devin McCall came up behind Woundenberg to take the silver in his first collegiate meet with a time of 4:44.53. In addition, Woudenberg touched the wall at 9:46.11 in the 1000 free for the gold.
Sophomore Sam Mo proved to be a threat in the mid-distance events as he finished first in two events and second in one event. Mo conquered the 200 IM with a time of 1:53.42 and took the gold in the 100 fly touching the wall at 50.23. Mo was followed by his plebe brother Dan Mo who took a second-place finish in the 100 fly (51.23) and freshman Sean Regan who finished the sweep with a time of 51.68.
Junior Will Viana and sophomore Zach Blankenbeker each scored for Army in the 200 fly in the season opener. Viana took second-place finish clocking a time of 1 minute and 53.52 seconds, while Blankenbeker finished third with a time of 1:55.36.
Urnezis rounded out the wins for the Black Knights taking the lead off of both boards. The junior diver scored 267.15 points off the 1-meter board and 293.50 off of the 3-meter board.
Army returns to action on Friday, Oct. 11, when the Black Knights host the Alumni Meet at Crandall Pool starting at 4:30 p.m. A week later on Saturday, Oct. 19, Army will finish out their short-lived home stand as they will host Massachusetts. The first events are slated to begin at 2 p.m.