Dec. 2, 2011
AKRON, Ohio -
The Army men's and women's swimming and diving teams wrapped up the first day of competition at the Zippy Invitational Friday evening inside Ocasek Natatorium on the campus of the University of Akron.
Despite not competing in the diving events, the Army men currently lead the nine-team field with 509 points. The Black Knight women, who are also participating without the aid of the divers, reside in fifth place out of 14 teams with 224 points following the first six events.
"I am extremely pleased with today's result," said Army head coach Mickey Wender. "I am very proud of the way both teams performed. They responded well to some great competition and have put themselves in good position following a very strong opening day."
Freshman Casey Woudenberg turned in one of Army's best performances of the night, winning the 500-yard freestyle in a personal-best time of four minutes, 33.26 seconds. The clocking cements Woudenberg's name in the West Point annals as the 10th fastest time in school history.
The Black Knights completely dominated the 500 free, sweeping the top three positions and taking four of the top six spots. Sophomore Daniel Ruckman finished runner-up with a career-best clocking of 4:34.44, while freshman Will Viana touched the wall in 4:34.62 to earn the bronze. Senior Dan Borchik registered a personal-best time in the event as well, placing sixth with a clocking of 4:39.36.
The Army men also excelled in the 50-yard freestyle with Black Knights occupying two of the top five spots and three of the top 10 positions. Junior Dan Foky placed third with a personal-best time of 20.72 to lead the way. The clocking represents the eighth-fastest time in Academy history.
Freshman Michael Dustin recorded his personal-best time in the 50 free as well, taking fifth overall with a clocking of 20.97. The standard breaks the Army plebe record, which was established in 1989. Fellow freshman Dion Hart chipped in a 10th-place showing in the 50 free, touching the wall in a career-best time of 21.16.
Junior Ayman Andrews added a fourth-place finish in the 200-yard individual medley, completing the race in a personal-best time of 1:53.37. The clocking, which shattered his previous career standard by more than a second, sits just outside Army's all-time top 10.
Freshman Joon Chung posted a 10th-place effort in the 200 IM, touching the wall in a personal-best time of 1:54.68.
The Black Knight men also turned in a pair of top-four showings in the relays. Army swam to a fourth-place finish in the 200-yard freestyle relay as the quartet of senior Byron Plapp, sophomores John Blickle and Kenny Yacynych, and freshman Tyler Sowell finished the race in 1:24.37.
Then, in the final event of the night, the Army men placed runner-up in the 400-yard medley relay as Yacynych, Chung, Andrews and Foky teamed to clock a time of 3:21.10.
The Army women recorded one of their best performances of the season today. Junior Alyssa Tran set the pace for the Army women, placing third in the 50-yard freestyle with a time of 23.74. Tran broke her own school record in the 50 free during the preliminaries, clocking a time of 23.36.
Sophomore Grace Hamilton added an 11th-place showing in the 50 free, clocking a personal-best time of 23.97. Hamilton's time ranks fifth on Army's all-time top 10 list. Fellow sophomore Juliette Wallerstein finished 17th in the 50 free with a career-best clocking of 24.09. That time ranks as the sixth-fastest in Academy annals.
The Black Knight women also recorded a pair of top-10 showings in the 200-yard individual medley with senior Paige Brink (2:06.42) and sophomore Lara Stouffer (2:08.58) placing fifth and eighth, respectively. Stouffer's time is a personal best that ranks as the eighth-fastest clocking in Army history.
Freshman Sam Allen pitched in a 12th-place finish in the 200 IM, touching the wall in a personal-best time of 2:09.35. The clocking lists 10th on the Academy's all-time top 10.
The Army women capped the night by breaking the Academy record in the 400-yard medley relay. The foursome of Stouffer, Allen, Tran and Brink clocked a time of 3:51.42 to shatter the previous school record, which had been on the books since 1989, by nearly three seconds, in placing fourth overall.
Army will return to action at the Zippy Invitational on Saturday, Dec. 3, with the preliminaries scheduled for 9 a.m., and the finals slated for 6 p.m.