Cambridge, Mass. - An historic moment by Jayden Pantel concluded the 2017 Ivy League Championships on Saturday, Feb. 25. With a winning score of 398.45 in the three-meter dive, Pantel captured his second-consecutive sweep with title in both the 3m and 1m dives. The junior joins Mark Fichera ‘01CC in achieving sweeps in back-to-back seasons and caps the year unbeaten in Ancient Eight competition. Kevin Fulton also placed seventh in the three-meter dive with 277.25 points.
"Jayden was outstanding. It is very difficult to defend an Ivy League title and he was able to defend two. Thus performance puts him alongside the best divers in Ivy League history, " said Scott Donie, Columbia head diving coach.
Michal Zyla broke his second program record of the weekend with a sensational performance in the 200 backstroke on Saturday. Zyla clocked in with a NCAA ‘B’ cut time of 1:43.87 for a runner-up overall finish, besting the previous Columbia record of 1:44.66. Zach Thomas led all swimmers in the consolation finals of the event with a time of 1:46.97, edging teammate Jack Foster who clocked in at 1:47.54.
Columbia was strong in the 200 butterfly led by a runner-up performance by Shane Brett with a time of 1:45.69 (NCAA ‘B’), along with Terry Li in third place with a time of 1:45.77 (NCAA ‘B’). Zachary Pear hit the wall first in the consolation finals with a time of 1:47.34 (NCAA ‘B’).
In the 100 freestyle, Kevin Frifeldt grabbed another top-five Ivy League finish with a fourth-place time of 43.87 (NCAA ‘B’). Mark Gullick also finished 12th overall in the event with a time of 44.79.
Jack Smith took the podium in the 200 breaststroke with a sixth-place performance with a time of a 1:58.28 (NCAA ‘B’). Jae Park added an 11th-place finish with a time of 2:00.08 and Coby Zucker in 13th at 2:01.60.
Eric Ng led a trio of Columbia touch finishes in the 1650 freestyle with an 11th-place time of 15:37.06, followed by Brian Tsau with a 12th-place time of 15:37.96 and Nikita Bondarenko with a 13th-placce time of 15:38.52.
Columbia finished with 1208 points for a third-place finish, its highest placing since 2014. Harvard captured the overall crown with 1705 points, followed by Penn with 1335.
DAY THREE HIGHLIGHTS
Shane Brett and Jack Foster gave the Lions an early spark on day three of the Ivy League Championships with championship finishes in the 400 individual medley. After a qualifying-prelims time of 3:50.35, Brett gabbed a third-place finals finish with a NCAA 'B' cut time of 3:48.21. Foster, Columbia’s program-record holder in the event, placed seventh overall with a time of 3:53.63.
An exciting 100 butterfly raced was highlight by a Terry Li runner-up finish with a NCAA 'B' cut time ot 46.88. Li pushed the two-time champion Max Yakubovich to the final touch. Kevin Fridfelt added another Columbia top-five finish in the event with a fifth-place time of 47.44.
Michal Zyla began the morning prelims in the 200 freestyle setting a new program record in the event with a time of 1:35.50 to qualify for the championship finals along with teammates Nian-Guo Liu and Nikita Bondarenko. Zyla led the Lions trio with a third-place finish in 1:36.73, followed by Liu in sixth place at 1:36.24 and Bondarenko in seventh place at 1:37.17, all NCAA 'B' cut times. Mark Gullick edged teammate Zachary Pear (1:39.17) in the ‘C’ finals of the event to hit the wall first in a time of 1:39.11.
Jack Smith gave a top-five performance in the 100 breaststroke hitting the wall in a fifth-place time of 54.32 (NCAA 'B'). Jae Park also clocked in with a runner-up consolation finals time of 55.31. In the final individual-pool event of the evening, Cole Stevens hit the wall first in the consolation finals of the 100 backstroke with a time of 48.90.
The squad Michal Zyla, Jack Smith, Terry Li and Kevin Frifeldt capped the day with a record finish in the 400 medley relay with a fourth-place finish. The tandem combined for a school record time of 3:13.31, besting the previous record of 3:14.27 set in 2011.
The Lions finished the day still standing in third place with 778 points. Harvard continues to lead with 1122 points, followed by Penn with 906 points.
DAY TWO HIGHLIGHTS
For the second-consecutive season junior Jayden Pantel took home the one-meter dive Ivy League crown after a stellar showing on day two of the Ivy League Championships on Thursday, Feb. 23 in Blodgett Pool. With a score a finals score 338.5, Pantel earned a first-place finish by more than 18 points and bested his 2016 winning score of 314.20. The junior caps the season unbeaten in Ancient Eight competition in the event.
The Lions placed a pair of top-five finishers in the championship finals of the 500 freestyle, including a third-place finish by Michal Zyla with career-best time of 4:20.40 and Nikita Bondarenko in fourth place with a career best-time of 4:21.16. Nian-Guo Liu edged teammate Brian Tsau for top ‘C’ finals finish with a time of 4:26.00.
Kevin Frifeldt was sensational in the fastest event of the night, earning a third-place finish in the 50 freestyle with a career-best time of 20.03. The Lions had two swimmers reach the ‘B’ finals the event, including Mark Gullick (20.47 -12th) and Terry Li (20.64 – 15th).
Shane Brett also earned a championship finals appearance in 200 individual medley with a prelims season-best time of 1:47.03. He returned for a eighth-place overall finish with a time of 1:48.75. The 200 free relay squad of Frifeldt, Gullick, Li and Kevin Dang combined for a sixth-place time of 1:20.86 in the final event of the night.
After two days of action, Columbia stands in third place with 389.5 points. Harvard is in front with 573.5 points followed by Penn with 443 points.
Day One Highlights
The 2017 Ivy League Men’s Swimming & Diving Championships began with its opening pair of relay events for day one of competition on Wednesday, Feb.22 . The Lions hit Blodgett Pool at Harvard University along with the entire Ancient Eight to battle in the 200 medley relay and the 800 freestyle relay.
The 200 medley relay saw a Columbia fourth-place finish by the squad of Cole Stevens, Jae Park, Terry Li and Mark Gullick with combined season-best time of 1:27.62. The foursome of Nikita Bondarenko, Michal Zyla, Kevin Frifeldt and Nian-Guo Liu clocked in with a fourth-place time of 6:27.33 in the 800 freestyle realy, just .01 seconds off the program record.