NEW YORK - Since the 1983-84 season, head coach Jim Bolster has been at the helm of the Columbia men's swimming and diving program. Under his direction, the Lions have held their position as one the Northeast's most successful programs. In just the past three seasons, Columbia compiled a 21-10 dual-meet record, including this season's 8-2 finish.
The Columbia benchmark for improvement continues to rise and the 2012-13 regular season was no different. The Lions began the season at 1-2 before stringing together seven straight dual-meet victories. In impressive fashion, the captivating winning streak was capped with a monumental win over the Ivy League defending champions No. 22 Princeton.
On Saturday, Feb. 16 Columbia defeated the Tigers 158-139 at Uris Pool for the first time since the 1980-1981 season. With three individual wins by David Jakl and a pair of wins from Dominik Koll, the Lions ended a 32-year winless drought and finished tied for second-place in the Ivy League at 5-2.
The victory came at a perfect time for the Class of 2013, as they were honored in their last meet at Uris Pool. "It's my class's first time beating a team in the top 25, and everyone's first time beating Princeton, including the coaches. It's the last meet our class will ever have together, and it could not have ended any better then that last relay, " said senior captain John Wright.
"We didn't come into the meet expecting anything. We started off swimming our secondary events and immediately were DQ'ed in the relay, so to come back into it and not only compete but to win was amazing. Getting that pool record back was terrific and David Jakl's four pool records in three meets is phenomenal, " said Wright.
While Bolster is very proud of Saturday's win, he wants to make sure the team keeps their eyes on the prize. "It's really how we perform at Ivies that matters the most," said Bolster. "So although the win over Princeton was fantastic and a nice step forward for the program, it has all been geared toward the Ivy League Championships," said Bolster.
The 2013 Ivy League Swimming and Diving Championships are slated for Thursday, March 7 - Saturday, March 9 in Providence, R.I.