Laura Klick climbed out of Sheerr Pool in ecstasy after breaking the pool record in the 100-yard breaststroke.
Then the freshman's bliss turned bittersweet when she realized that Navy's Mallory Dietrich had also beaten the record and taken first place.
"Obviously I wanted to get the pool record," Klick said. "But I'm a freshman, so I have time."
That race helped set the tone for Navy, which swept its dual meets against Penn and Rider on Saturday. The Midshipmen's male swimmers handled the Quakers, 178.5-118.5, and dominated the Broncs, 196-87. Later on in the day, their women edged Penn, 159-141, and cruised past Rider, 190-110. The Red and Blue won both of their dual meets against Rider.
With the two wins, the Navy women completed their first undefeated dual meet season in the program's storied history and broke the school record for most dual meet wins in a season with 14.
"This is big for us," Navy women's coach John Morrison said. "This team has really come together in the second half of the season."
The 100 breaststroke was only the beginning of a budding rivalry between Klick and Dietrich. They met again in the 200-yard breaststroke, in which Dietrich was trailing halfway through the race but came back to narrowly beat Klick.
"That was the most impressive race. To go into the last 100 [yards] a little bit down in the breaststroke, its hard to come back, but she was able to," Morrison said.
After the race, Klick congratulated her junior counterpart on an excellent race, but with her third event looming in just 10 minutes, Dietrich was not very receptive of Klick's sportsmanship. She was intent on staying focused and went on to win the 100-yard butterfly, her third victory of the day.
"Coming in to today she knew she had to get three wins otherwise we would be down, and she played her cards right," Morrison said. "That's just a great athlete going after what she wants."
Dietrich's dominance and Klick's relentless struggle highlighted the day's events.
"They were so far ahead of everybody else in the pool, and they're both just such good swimmers, that it was fun for everybody to watch those races," Penn coach Mike Schnur said.
Navy junior Tara Chapmon complemented Dietrich with three wins of her own, while standout sprinter Thuy-Mi Dinh added two more.
"Basically those three girls dominated the whole meet," Schnur said.
On the men's side, Penn was heavily handicapped by injuries.
"We're at about half strength right now," Schnur mentioned with despair. "I gotta figure out some way to get these guys healthy."
The injuries gave some men a chance to compete in new events, but Schnur did not receive any pleasant surprises from that opportunity. Freshman Brendan McHugh competed in the 200-yard butterfly for the first time, and recorded Penn's fastest time, but only placed fifth overall.
Ultimately, the talented Navy squad was just too much for both Penn's men and women.
"We tried our best with Navy - and I'm glad we were able to beat Rider - but Navy is just really good right now," Schnur said.Comments powered by Disqus
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