NEW YORK – On Saturday, Nov. 16, the Columbia men’s swimming and diving team put on an exciting show at Uris Pool in its home opener against Yale. In a battle that came down to the final event, the 400 freestyle relay, David Jakl came up big in the final leg to give the Lions a thrilling 153-147 victory over the Bulldogs.
The quartet of Terry Li, Alex Ngan, Benjamin Xu and David Jakl combined for a clutch performance in the 400 free relay. Their time of 3:02.47 edged the Yale foursome by just .18 seconds to give the Lions its first win of the season.
Columbia jumped right into a win with the 200 medley relay. The quartet of Michael Fox-Moles, Matthew Swallow, David Jakl and Alex Ngan combined for a winning time of 1:31.46 in the first event of the meet.
Every event was full of excitement throughout the day, including the 200 yard freestyle that went down to the wire. Terry Li grabbed runner-up honors with a time of 1:39.46, just .18 seconds behind the lead. David Jakl followed in third place with a time of 1:40.95.
Columbia would take its first lead of the meet at 47-46 behind a strong win from Benjamin Xu in the 100 backstroke. Xu hit the wall in a time of 50.49 and Fox-Moles was a touch away in second place at 50.96. The Lions made its presence known in the 200 fly with a runner-up finish from Kevin Quinn at 1:49.35 and a third place finish by Alex Mango at 1:52.41.
Ngan trimmed the Bulldog lead through the first half of events to 76-74 after a victory in the 50 freestyle. Ngan swam an impressive winning time of 20.77 and Dominik Koll joined his success, placing third with a time of 21.40.
The Lions received a big spark from the diving core with Micah Rembrandt leading the way with a victory in the 1m dive. The junior tallied 311.78 points for first place and Derek Kim took second with 270.08 points.
First-year Terry Li kept the momentum going in the 100 freestyle with a winning time of 45.86. Ngan’s runner-up finish in the event with a time of 45.98 gave the Lions a slight 101-87 lead.
Yale fought back taking the next two events to tie the score at 113 with just four events remaining. The Bulldogs won the 500 free but the Lions would win the 100 fly with a clutch performance from Jakl, who hit the wall in a time of 48.66.
Columbia followed with a strong swim in the 200 IM, placing 2-3-4 in the event. Eric Traub took runner-up at 1:54.63, Ronald Chen placed third at 1:54.71 and Kevin Quinn came in fourth place at 1:55.29.
With Yale holding a 143-140 lead, the meet would come down to the 400 free relay, where Columbia came out strong to take down the Bulldogs for good.
The Lions improve to 1-1 on the season and return to Uris Pool tomorrow at 1 p.m. to take on Army.