Midshipmen Complete 99th Annual Herndon Climb


Story Number: NNS060519-13Release Date: 5/19/2006 12:18:00 PM
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By Photographer's Mate Airman Recruit Matthew Ebarb, U.S. Naval Academy Public Affairs

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (NNS) -- Midshipmen from the U.S. Naval Academy's Class of 2009 climbed the final hurdle of their "plebe" year at the 99th annual Herndon Climb here May 18.

The Herndon Climb is considered the capstone of the freshman year at the academy. Freshmen must demonstrate teamwork, communication and strategy to accomplish their goal - to propel a classmate to the top of the 21-foot tall, lard-covered monument to replace the plebe 'dixie cup' with a Midshipman's combination cap.

"Some of us were doing our own thing at first," said Midshipman 4th Class Brian Richards. "When we finally came together, it happened."

Richards reached the top of the lard-covered monument in one hour, 14 minutes and 15 seconds, the fastest time since 1988.

The Herndon monument is dedicated to Cmdr. William Lewis Herndon, who died in an attempt to save the crew of his steamer ship Central America during a storm off Cape Hatteras, N.C., in 1857.

For related news, visit the U.S. Naval Academy Navy NewsStand page at www.news.navy.mil/local/usna/.

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RELATED PHOTOS
U.S. Naval Academy Superintendent Vice Adm. Rodney P. Rempt, left, and Commandant Capt. Bruce Grooms, right, congratulate Midshipman 4th Class Brian Richards at the 99th annual Herndon Climb.
060518-N-5390M-002 Annapolis, Md. (May 18, 2006) - U.S. Naval Academy Superintendent Vice Adm. Rodney P. Rempt, left, and Commandant Capt. Bruce Grooms, right, congratulate Midshipman 4th Class Brian Richards at the 99th annual Herndon Climb. At the firing of cannons, the class of midshipmen works together in their attempt to climb to the top of the 21-foot gray obelisk covered in more than 200 pounds of lard and retrieve a white plebe dixie-cup hat. According to legend, the plebe who replaces the white hat with a midshipman's cover will become the first member of the class to become an Admiral. Richards reached the top in 1:14:15. U.S. Navy photo by Kenneth J. Mierzejewski (RELEASED)
May 19, 2006
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