NEW YORK – 2018 begins with a victory for the Columbia men’s swimming & diving team as they took down Cornell 150-147 in their return to Uris Pool on Saturday, Jan. 13. The Lions jumped out to an impressive start winning six-consecutive events and held on to defeat the Big Red for their third Ivy League win of the season. With the win Columbia improves to 4-2 overall and 3-2 in conference play.
Leading a dominate collective three-meter dive performance by the Lions was senior Jayden Pantel who grabbed his first victory of the season with a score of 369.15 points to kick-off the meet. He edged teammate Jonathan Suckow who finished runner-up with a score of 350.93, moving to 6-1 on the season in the event, followed by Kevin Fulton in third place with 280.58 points. Suckow improved his unbeaten streak to 7-0 in the one-meter dive with a winning score of 380.55, followed by a runner-up score of 314.25 by Jayden Pantel.
In the 200 medley the Lions also remained unbeaten in Ivy League competition as the squad of Cole Stevens, Jace Ng, Kevin Fridelt and Albert Gwo combined for a winning time of 1:29.93. Brian Tsau clocked in at 9:30.31 to secure a victory in the 1000 freestyle, while Nian-guo Liu earned his fourth Ivy League victory in the 200 freestyle at 1:38.13, finishing just ahead of teammate Michal Zyla at 1:41.05. Returning for a win the 100 backstroke was Cole Stevens who delivered a sub-50 time of 49.88 to give the Columbia six-consecutive wins to begin the meet.
The fastest event of the afternoon went to Albert Gwo who clocked in with a winning time of 20.56 in the 50 freestyle, his third in Ivy League play. Liu picked up his second crown of the day in the 100 freestyle with a time of 45.34, along with a second-place finish from Kevin Frifeldt in the event at 45.73. Stevens also collected a pair of individual wins with a first-place time of 1:50.20 in the 200 backstroke as Joe Skimmons took second at 1:51.96.
Michal Zyla posted a top-time of 4:35 .72 in the 500 freestyle to lead all swimmers, followed by Tsau with a time of 4:39.39. Gwo capped a standout day with a first-place time of 50.18 in the 100 butterfly as the Lions came with the win.
Up next, the Lions head to Bucknell on Sunday, Jan. 14 at 1 p.m.