Plebes from the class of 2011 participate in the annual Herndon Monument Climb on Thursday May 15, 2008 at the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md. The students have marked the end of their "plebe" year by capping the obelisk known as the Herndon Monument, which is 21 feet high and greased with 200 pounds of lard for the climb. (AP Photo/Jamie C. Horton)
A midshipman taking part in the traditional climb of the grease-covered 21-foot Herndon Monument at the U.S. Naval Academy has been taken away in what appears to be a neck brace.
The female midshipman was fastened on to a stretcher, and medical attendants could be seen taking care to secure her neck. She was ridden away on a cart.
Deb Goode, a Naval academy spokeswoman, said the midshipman was taken to a hospital as a precaution. She declined to comment on her condition.
The greased obelisk had returned this year after last year's greaseless climb.
The students form a pyramid of bodies to hoist a classmate to replace a first-year student's "dixie cup" hat with a midshipman's hat on top of the obelisk. The event ended Monday after 2 hours, 41 minutes, 42 seconds.
Last year, for the first time in almost 40 years, outgoing Vice Adm. Jeffrey Fowler told midshipmen not to slather the monument with 200 pounds of lard because he had safety concerns. The result: plebes reached the top in a near record time of two minutes, five seconds.