Watch: Navy class climbs greasy Herndon Monument after two-hour struggle in freshman ritual

Naval plebes celebrated the end of their first year with a greasy climb.

Midshipmen of the U.S. Naval Academy's freshman class continued their hefty tradition of climbing the greased 21-foot Herndon Monument in Annapolis, Maryland. The ritual marks their official transition from first-year plebes to upperclassman.

Video shows the class of 2027 dash toward the statue smeared with 200 pounds of lard, removing their shirts as they collectively mount it. Many surrounded the climbers cheering as they complete they tradition.

The students successfully completed the goal of removing the "dixie cup" hat at the top of the structure and replacing it with an upperclassman's hat.

Tradition dates back to 1950

The tradition known as the Herndon Climb dates back to 1950, according to the Naval Academy.

While the ritual requires teamwork it also comes with a completive edge as the first person to reach the top of the statue is believed to become the first admiral in the class. Midshipman Ben Leisegang from Rancho Santa Margarita, California had the honor of capping the monument.

The monument honors Commander William Lewis Herndon, who died in 1857 when his ship sunk amid a hurricane.

Climb finished faster than last year's class

This year's class completed the climb in 2 hours, 19 minutes and 11 seconds faster than last year's class, which took 2 hours, 31 minutes and 51 seconds.

The fasted climb was in 1972 when plebes completed in a minute and 30 seconds however no grease was used at the time. The longest recorded time peaked at four hours and five minutes in 1998 when dixie cup was taped and glued to the structure.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Naval Academy class climbs greasy Herndon Monument: Watch video