Freshman class climbs Herndon Monument

Photo: Ben Eisler/ABC7

The Naval Academy’s{ }freshman class took on a quirky tradition Monday – they completed the school’s annual Herndon Monument climb. But this year was a little more slippery than last.

From the start of the climb, the class of 2014 came fired up.

It’s 1,000 members stormed the Herndon Monument Monday afternoon for their final challenge as a freshman class: Replace the plebe hat on top of the monument with a midshipman’s.

True to tradition, the upperclassmen greased the structure with two hundred pounds of lard. Last year, the lard was left off due to safety concerns, but the class finished the climb in under three minutes. So this year, the lard is back.

The Associated Press reports that a female midshipman taking part in the climb was seen being taken away in what appeared to be a neck brace. Deb Goode, a Naval academy spokeswoman, told the Associated Press that the midshipman was taken to a hospital as a precaution. She was treated and released.

The first to climb the monument did so in 1940. In the 1950s, it became a tradition, with the fastest greased time to date – 44 minutes. The longest was four hours.

After 2 hours and 41 minutes, Matt Dalton brought home the prize.
But less than the time, the men and women spoke about teamwork and the tower of brotherhood and sisterhood that will last past the afternoon.