Virginia Men Return to Pool; Defeat Navy 156-136
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – The Virginia men’s swimming team returned to the pool Friday with a 156-136 victory over Navy Friday at the Aquatic and Fitness Center. Fourth year Scot Robison, second year Matt Murray and first year Taylor Grey each were double-event individual winners.
Prior to the meet, Navy presented Virginia Director of Athletics Craig Littlepage, head coach Mark Bernardino and seniors Matt McLean and Robison with a plaque in memory of former Cavalier Fran Crippen. A moment of silence was held in memory of the Virginia All-American, who passed away Oct. 23.
The final event of the afternoon was the 400 freestyle relay. The last leg of UVa’s relay that included Geissinger, Robison and McLean was left empty, as was once swum by Crippen.
“I can’t say enough about the sportsmanship, class and integrity of the Naval Academy’s swimmers and coaches,” Bernardino said. “For the Naval Academy to feel the way they felt and then perform the way they performed, I just have the greatest amount of respect and love for their coaching staff, that group of men and what they represent for our country. Fran too was representing our country.”
The 200 medley relay team of Murray, Grey, Peter Geissinger and Robison commenced the meet with a victory, finishing in 1:31.75.
Robison went on to earn first-place laurels in the 50 free (20.14) and 100 free (44.13); both were NCAA ‘B’ times. In the 100 freestyle, Robison led the way for a 1-2-3 finish for Virginia, as McLean (45.02) and David Karasek (46.17) finished second and third, respectively.
McLean collected a NCAA ‘B’ time of 1:36.05 with a win in the 200 freestyle. Teammate David Karasek finished third in 1:39.33.
Freshman Brad Phillips took first-place honors in the 1000 free (9:10.72), leading Virginia in another 1-2-3 performance. Jan Daniec (9:10.92) was second and Taylor Smith (9:18.58) placed third.
Murray led the way for the Cavaliers in the 100 backstroke with a winning time of 50.16.
David Wren finished second (50.94) and Jack Murfee (51.26) took third. Murray also went on to win the 200 back in 1:48.25, while Wren placed second (1:49.44). Grey claimed both the 100 breast (56.37) and 200 breast (2:00.61).
Geissinger and Grey also finished first in the 100 fly (50.06) and 200 IM (1:52.01), but both races were exhibitioned.
“I am very impressed with my team,” Bernardino continued. “They have been strong. They grieved but they are not finished grieving, none of us are, but I think there is something about this group and we have noticed it since day one of this season. There is a real cohesiveness and a real sense of purpose.
“I think that swimming for Fran, as they will all year long, means a lot to them. I believe they want to swim, represent and train the way Fran did. If we can replicate his focus, his tenacity, his love of sport and the way he carried himself, then we don’t have to win swim meets, we will be winners regardless.”
The Cavaliers improved to 2-0 on the year, while Navy dropped to 3-1.
Virginia is back in action Nov. 12-13 with a two-day tri-meet with Virginia Tech and Princeton at the Aquatic and Fitness Center.