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/.