May 19, 2024
Annapolis, US 70 F

MIDN James “Jim” Crossfield of Philly Tops Herndon in Just Over Three Hours

After having their climb of the Herndon Monument scuttled in 2020, the class of 2023 got their chance this afternoon.  Shortly after 1:00 pm, the cannon went off and more than 1,000 midshipmen rushed the 21-foot obelisk that stands outside the Naval Academy Chapel. Three hours and thirty-nine seconds later, the second-class midshipmen were “plebes no more” despite not being a plebe for more than a year!

James “Jim” Crossfield was the Midshipman who finally made it to the top under a warm, but cloudy sky at the Naval Academy with several hundred spectators. Crossfield, who hails from the Fox Chase neighborhood of Philadelphia, is a triplet (the oldest by a few minutes). Military service runs deep. His brother, Robert “Bobby” is at the US Military Academy, and his other brother, Charles “Charlie”, is on a full Navy ROTC scholarship at Penn State. And the triplets’ two older brothers are also serving in the Navy.

That 3:00.39 time was nowhere near the fastest time recorded for a greased monument was 43:44 by the class of 1991.  The longest time? 4:05.17 which is held by the class of 1998!

Today was the first time the “Firsties” (seniors) ever greased the monument. Typically, it is the responsibility of the Third Class Midshipmen (sophomores) , but due to the COVID pandemic, those Mids are now First Class Midshipmen. This also marks the first time ever where Plebes (freshman) have been spectators for the event!

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