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U.S. Naval Academy plebes conquer greased monument

STORY: The traditional Herndon Climb dates back to the 1950s. The monument is greased with a heavy coat of vegetable shortening and the plebes must exercise perseverance, teamwork and ingenuity to replace the hat.

As they struggle under the weight, a steady stream of water is sprayed over the plebes to cool them off.

This year's class, which graduates in 2026, worked for two hours, 31 minutes and 51 seconds to replace the cap and Chris Paris from Louisville, Kentucky was the one who capped the monument.

Since 1962 when the time has been recorded, the longest recorded time was four hours and five minutes by the Class of 1998, according to the Naval Academy public information office, which said the shortest time was 1 minute and 30 seconds by the Class of 1972 - but the monument wasn't greased that year.