The night opened with the finals of the 200 medley relay. The Columbia squad of Johnny Bailey, Matthew Swallow, Hyun Lee and Adam Powell came in third overall with a new school record time of 1:29.22.
In the 1650 free timed finals, Columbia had three swimmers score points. First-year Harry Stephenson finished 16th overall, as the top finisher for the Lions with a time of 15:58.24. Junior Alex Smith came in next, 17th, with a time of 15:58.30. And sophomore Sean MacKenzie rounded out the distance group, as he finished 19th overall with a time of 16:01.42.
In the 400 individual medley, junior Robert Eyckmans qualified for the championship final, and swam well, placing fourth overall and scoring major points for Columbia. He came in with a final time of 3:56.81. First-year Stephenson also scored points for Columbia in the event, as he swam in the consolation finals, taking 16th overall in 4:06.20.
Junior Bruno Esuqen was the top qualifier for the Lions in the 100 fly, as he came in eighth in the championship final, with a time of 49.29. First-year Kai Schultz also had an outstanding swim in the bonus final, as he won his heat, finishing 17th overall with a time of 50.14.
Columbia’s lone championship of the day came in the 200 freestyle. In the bonus final, first-years Daniel Tan and Philipp Gaissert finished 18th and 21st respectively, with times of 1:41.87 and 1:42.59. The Lions had two finalists in the championship heat. Senior Hyun Lee, who was the top seed coming into the event, and sophomore John Wright, who catapulted his way into the top eight with an outstanding preliminary swim. Wright finished sixth with a time of 1:38.82, while Hyun Lee made it two titles in two days. The senior won the event with an NCAA ‘B’ cut and new school record time of 1:36.53. It was the second title for Lee, who won the 500 free in Friday’s finals.
Columbia had three swimmers in the consolation finals of the 100 breaststroke, one of whom got there on a swim off. First-year Eric Traub finished the preliminaries tied for 16th with a Penn swimmer. The two had a swim-off to determine who would be in the consolation final, and Traub pulled out the win. Even with two races under his belt, the first-year improved on his time from the morning, coming in fifth in the consolation final and 13th overall in 57.42. Junior John-Howard Sidman came in second in the heat and 10th overall with a time of 57.12, while first-year Matthew Swallow won the consolation final and came in ninth overall, with a time of 56.91. And in the championship final, Columbia sophomore Erik Mai had an outstanding swim, to finish tied for fifth. He and Harvard freshman Jason Ting both hit the wall in 56.57, and both teams were awarded points for the finish.
Another highlight of the night for the Lions, and the event that put them in third place, was the men’s 100 yard backstroke, which had three Lions in the championship finals. Senior Adam Powell, junior Johnny Bailey and sophomore Patrick Dougherty all qualified for the championship, with Bailey as one of the top seeds. And the Lions didn’t disappoint. Dougherty finished eighth in 50.64, Bailey came in fourth in 49.10, and Powell finished second with a time of 48.78 seconds, with all three scoring major points for the team. Powell’s time was a new school record in the event.
The night ended with another exciting race for the Lions, in the 800 free relay. Lee led off for the Lions, and put them in a solid third place. Traub and Dougherty swam the second and third legs for the Lions, while sophomore Wright swam anchor. Despite leading for most of the race, Columbia was beat out in the end by Princeton and Harvard squads. The Lions came in third overall, with a final time of 6:36.01.
Columbia ended the day with a solid hold on third place, with 688.5 team points. The Lions are now 50 points ahead of Yale, who is in fourth place with 639.5 points, while Penn brings up fifth place with 547 points. Saturday’s finals will feature the 1000 free timed final, the 200 back, the 100 free, the 200 breast, the 200 butterfly, the 1m diving competition, and the 400 free relay.