Chris Bianchi tops Herndon Monument at 1:12:30

| May 23, 2016

Chris Bianchi and Rita BianchiChris Bianchi of Virginia Beach, Virginia had a very special day.  Bianchi was the 4th Class Midshipman who capped the Herndon Monument in 1:12:34. That time had not been beat since 1988* and is the fastest of all the classes currently at the Academy.

Bianchi’s mother, Rita, was on hand and she took a few moments to talk to us about her son. “He has always done whatever he set out to accomplish, so I am not surprised, but very happy.”  She told us that it was a bittersweet moment because Chris’ father, a 1985 graduate of the Academy, was killed in a Navy helicopter crash on July 16, 2003 when he was just 6 years old.

CMDR Kevin A. Bianchi, died when an MH-53E Sea Dragon helicopter crashed on a roadside about 10 miles southwest of the American Navy base at Sigonella in eastern Sicily. Bianchi had just celebrated his 40th birthday the evening before the crash. CMDR Bianchi’s wife said that she was sure that Kevin was looking down on them today.

Bianchi HerndonChris took none of the glory for the capping of the monument, he kept saying “it’s all about the base” and was quick to bring in his classmates who helped push him to the top. “I guess it helped that I am short,” he quipped. Tradition has it that the plebe who caps the monument will be the first to reach the rank of Admiral; however, as Superintendent VADM Ted Carter pointed out..it has never happened.

But for tonight, the class of 2019 will be celebrating the final task of their plebe year which was completed in near record time. And as Mrs. Bianchi said, somewhere, there’s a proud father looking down on his son and smiling!

*  This year’s time ranks # 12 since the Naval Academy has been keeping records.

More photos here by Michael Finn for Eye On Annapolis.

Blackwall Hitch

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John is the publisher and editor of Eye On Annapolis. As a resident and business owner in Anne Arundel County for more than 15 years, he realized that there was something missing in terms of community news--and Eye On Annapolis was born in late spring 2009. John's background is in the travel industry as a business owner, industry speaker, and travel writer. In terms of blogging and social media, he cut his teeth with MSNBC.com.