Navy’s men’s swimming and diving team clinched its 19th consecutive Patriot League title in dramatic fashion at the four-day meet in Lewisburg, Pa. The Mids overcame a 47-point deficit to Army with only three events remaining, but thanks to a thrilling performance from Garrett McGovern, they ultimately triumphed by 10 points, with a total of 856.5 to Army’s 846.5.

McGovern trailed Army’s Owen Harlow by one-tenth of a second midway through the final leg of the 400 free relay, the final event of the meet, but rallied to beat Harlow to the wall, clinching the event win and the team title for the Mids. It was a fitting end to an exhilarating competition that saw Navy demonstrate the grit and determination that is emblematic of the Naval Academy.

“It is very hard to put words to this experience,” said Navy men’s swimming head coach Bill Roberts. “This was the most exciting meet to have been a part of. Regardless of the outcome tonight, the grit and determination in our program demonstrated throughout the meet was inspiring.”

Navy’s women’s team was also victorious, amassing 799 points to beat Army’s second-place tally of 615.5. The women’s team has now won 11 straight league titles and 21 crowns in its 31 seasons in the league, the most won by any team in the league in any sport.

In the men’s competition, the Mids entered the final day holding a 627.5-594.5 lead on Army. However, Army took the lead after the 1650 freestyle and increased it to 47 points after the 100 freestyle. The Mids nearly cut that deficit in half after the 200 breaststroke, and regained the lead after the 200 butterfly.

The final event of the meet was a nail-biter, with the outcome uncertain until the last few yards. The Navy team of Jonah Harm, Austin Lockhart, Everet Andrew, and Garrett McGovern held a slim lead over Army for most of the race. Harlow, who had beaten McGovern by 35-hundredths of a second in the 100 freestyle, caught up with McGovern at the turn marking 75 yards and the two were paired up for the remaining 25 yards. However, McGovern found another gear and surged to the wall, beating Harlow by less than four-tenths of a second to clinch the team title for Navy.

“It was an awesome championship run for our team,” said Navy women’s swimming coach John Morrison. “We are incredibly proud of the entire team. They worked incredibly hard and supported each other throughout the entire season. To see it all come together this weekend is a tribute to the entire team and coaching staff.”

The meet also saw strong performances from individual Navy swimmers. Lauren Walsh, who would be named the league’s rookie of the meet, won the gold medal in the women’s 100 breaststroke, while Caroline Irwin and Navy’s men’s swimmer of the year, Patrick Colwell, won silver medals in the women’s 200 butterfly and the men’s 200 butterfly, respectively.

Overall, it was a thrilling meet that showcased the talent and determination of Navy’s swimmers and divers. With 19 consecutive men’s team titles and 11 straight women’s team titles, Navy has established itself as a dominant force in Patriot League swimming and diving, and its success shows no signs of slowing down.

2023 Patriot League Swimming and Diving Major Awards

  • Women’s Swimmer of the Meet: Mimi Watts, American
  • Men’s Swimmer of the Meet: Jonah Harm, Navy
  • Women’s Rookie of the Meet: Lauren Walsh, Navy
  • Men’s Rookie of the Meet: Brice Barrieault, Army
  • Women’s Diver of the Meet: Sumi Cameron, Boston U
  • Men’s Diver of the Meet: Blake Shaw, Navy
  • Women’s Swim Coach of the Year: John Morrison, Navy
  • Men’s Swim Coach of the Year: Brandt Nigro, Army
  • Women’s Diving Coach of the Year: Brad Snodgrass, Boston U
  • Joe Suriano Men’s Diving Coach of the Year: Rich MacDonald, Navy

Women – Team Rankings

1. Navy (799)
2. Army (615.5)
3. Bucknell (540.5)
4. Boston University (381)
5. Lehigh (377.5)
6. Loyola Maryland (246)
7. American (221)
8. Colgate (202.5)
9. Holy Cross (148)
10. Lafayette (81)

Men – Team Rankings

1. Navy (856.5)
2. Army (846.5)

3. Bucknell (538.5)
4. Loyola Maryland (455)
5. Boston University (247)
6. Lehigh (180.5)
7. American (148.5)
8. Lafayette (132)
9. Holy Cross (110)
10. Colgate (107.5)

David M. Higgins II, Publisher/EditorEditor-in-Chief

David M. Higgins II is an award-winning journalist passionate about uncovering the truth and telling compelling stories. Born in Baltimore and raised in Southern Maryland, he has lived in several East...

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