- Associated Press - Tuesday, May 19, 2015

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - The U.S. Naval Academy’s plebe class of 2015 has climbed the Herndon Monument in an hour and 38 minutes.

Officials from the academy report the freshmen took part in this yearly tradition Monday, where they scaled the 21-foot structure covered with about 50 pounds of lard.

Their task was to remove the hat known as the “dixie cup” from the top of the monument and replace it with a midshipmen’s hat. The act symbolizes the end of the plebe year.

Legend has it that the freshman who tops Herndon will be the first of the class to make admiral.

Superintendent Vice Admiral Walter Carter Jr. says that has yet to be proven true.

In 1940, plebes began climbing the monument, named after Commander William Lewis Herndon.

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