A greasy, monumental ritual at the Naval Academy ends after more than 2 hours


ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — It took Naval Academy plebes two hours, 19 minutes and 11 seconds Wednesday to accomplish the ultimate in upward mobility: scaling a greased obelisk and swapping out a cup with a cap, this year with an unusual hitch.

The annual grueling, slippery ritual marking the completion of the plebe year ended with 20-year-old Californian Ben Leisegang standing victorious on the shoulders of scores of classmates and placing an upperclassman's hat atop the Herndon Monument.

The Class of 2027 worked together to scale the 21-foot (6-meter) obelisk covered in vegetable shortening to rep...

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