Dec. 6, 2012
Freshman Natalie Beale won both backstroke events and the Army women broke two school relay records, and freshman Chris Szekely shattered a pair of plebe standards on the men's side as the Black Knights were swept by Navy in the annual "Star" meet Thursday evening at the Salvation Army Kroc Center.
The Navy men (5-2, 3-0 PL) scored a 190-109 victory versus Army (5-2, 0-1 PL), while the Navy women (6-1, 3-0 PL) secured a 207-93 decision against the Black Knights (4-4, 0-1 PL).
Beale continued to impress, however, as the first-year performer won gold in both the 100-yard backstroke (56.27 seconds) and the 200 back (2:01.55). Her time in the 100 back shattered the Academy and plebe records. Beale also teamed with sophomore Kristen Barta, freshman Molly Mucciarone and sophomore Haileigh Phillips to place runner-up in the 200-yard medley relay. The foursome completed the race in an Academy-record time of 1:44.32.
Mucciarone also excelled individually, winning the 50-yard freestyle in a clocking of 23.33 and placing second in the 100-yard butterfly (55.13). Her time in the 100 fly ranks as the second-fastest in Army history. Mucciarone capped the night by teaming with junior Grace Hamilton, junior Juliette Wallerstein and sophomore Keeli McNeary to place runner-up in the 400-yard freestyle relay. The quartet shattered the school record with a clocking of 3:27.51.
Hamilton also turned in a pair of top-three showings individually, finishing third in the 50 free (23.78) and 100 free (52.52).
Sophomore Sam Allen placed third in the 200-yard breaststroke (2:21.54), while freshman Ally Walz finished third in the 200-yard butterfly (2:08.50). Allen's time ranks second all-time at the Academy, while Walz's clocking lists 10th on Army's all-time ledger.
Barta chipped in a third-place showing in the 200-yard freestyle as the second-year swimmer touched the wall in 1:52.65.
Sophomore Maggie Churchill led Army off the boards, winning the three-meter event with a score of 235.85 points. Juniors Breawna Davis (222.65) and Danielle Ullman (210.80) placed third and fourth, respectively, off the three-meter board. Ullman turned in Army's best score in the one-meter event, racking up 211.25 markers en route to a third-place finish.
Szekely looked nothing like a plebe competing in his first Army-Navy meet as the first-year standout had a hand in four top-three finishes for the Black Knight men. Individually, Szekely placed second in the 100 free (45.23) and 200 free (1:38.34), while finishing third in the 500 free (4:31.32). His time in the 100 free broke his own plebe record and ranks as the eighth-fastest time in Academy history. His clocking in the 200 free shattered the plebe mark he set earlier this season and lists as the second-best time in Army history.
Szekely wrapped up the evening by teaming with sophomore Michael Dustin, junior Kenny Yacynych and freshman Adam Sjoholm to win the 400-yard freestyle relay in a time of 3:02.28.
The Black Knights began the meet by breaking the school record in the 200-yard medley relay as the grouping of Yacynych, junior Carter Kelly, senior Ayman Andrews and senior Dan Foky combined to clock a time of 1:30.91.
Andrews performed well in the butterfly events, winning the 100 fly (48.40) and placing runner-up in the 200 fly (1:47.70).
Army finished 1-2 in both diving events. Sophomore Zachary Woods (354.35 points) and senior Chris Nguyen (345.90) placed first and second, respectively, off the one-meter board. That same duo occupied the top two spots in the three-meter event as well, with Nguyen winning (381.60) and Woods taking second (343.10). Nguyen's score off the three-meter board shattered the Army-Navy meet record.
Foky (20.99) and Dustin (21.23) finished second and third, respectively, in the 50-yard freestyle. Dustin added a third-place showing in the 100-yard butterfly (49.54).
Freshman Alex Dempsey placed third in the 200-yard backstroke (1:50.61), while fellow plebe Sam Mo took third in the 200-yard individual medley (1:53.30) and the 200-yard breaststroke (2:02.88). Mo's clocking in the 200 breast ranks seventh on Army's all-time list.
Elsewhere, junior Daniel Ruckman finished fifth in the 1,000-yard freestyle with the fifth-best time in Academy history (9:27.05).
Army will be idle for the next four weeks as the Black Knights break for exams and the holidays. Army gets back in the competition pool on Thursday, Jan. 3, when the Black Knights travel to San Juan, Puerto Rico, to take part in the San Juan Invitational.