NEW YORK - The Columbia men's swimming and diving team started the season with great form on Friday, Nov. 9 defeating Penn in the season opener 182.5-115.5 at Uris Pool. The Lions were led by strong performances from Micah Rembrandt, newcomer Kevin Quinn, and Dominik Koll, each capturing wins in two individual events.
Columbia opened in impressive fashion, with Micah Rembrandt winning the 3meter diving event with 299.40 points. The event saw first-year Derek Kim start his collegiate career with a third place finish tallying 251.03 points.
Following the first event, the Lions continued its strong start in the 200 medley relay capturing first and third as well in the event. The squad of sophomore Omar Arafa, junior Matthew Swallow, sophomore Alex Ngan, and senior captain John Wright touched the pad with the winning time of 1:32.14.
The Lions were excited about its Class of 2016, and it didn't take long for that first-year class to start producing. Christian Vivadelli took an impressive second place finish in the 1000 yard freestyle igniting the team energy in Uris Pool.
Dominik Koll and Daniel Tan fed off the energy in the next event to take the top two spots in the 200 yard freestyle. Koll received his first of two wins on the meet with a time of 1:41.17 and Tan helped build the Columbia lead with a second place time of 1:42.63. Arafa continued with the team's fourth win in five events in the 100 yard backstroke with a time of 51.49. Coming in a close second place was Michael Fox-Moles finishing at 51.86.
After six events the Lions jumped out to a 69-42 lead heading into the 200 yard butterfly. The 200 fly was all about newcomer Kevin Quinn for the Lions. The University of California transfer took the event with a two second win hitting the wall at 1:49.43.
The crowd event favorite, the 50 yard freestyle, saw Columbia's continued dominance led by Philipp Gaissert with a winning time of 20.93. Sophomore Alex Ngan came in at 1:52.92 to give Columbia another first and third place heat.
Picking up where he left off in the 3m diving event, Rembrandt added his second win in the 1m diving event with 287.03 points. Kim stepped up again in the event to take second place with 273.68 points.
Following Rembrandt, Quinn also received his second win of the night in the 200 yard backstroke with a time of 1:50.67. The first-year class continued to impress with Benjamin Xu right behind in second at 1:51.30.
Koll joined Rembrandt and Quinn with two individual wins when he won the 500 yard freestyle in 4:38.61. With 13 of 16 events complete, Columbia took a 145.5 - 97.5 advantage over the Quakers. However, the most exciting win had yet to come for the Lions.
In the 200 yard IM first-year Ronald Chen began a sensational collegiate start with a win finishing at 1:54.83. The newcomer beat out junior Eric Traub who took second with a time of 1:55.19. Columbia concluded the day with first place finish by the quartet of Arafa, Ngan, Gaissert and Wright in the 200 free relay in a time of 1:23.50.
Up next the Lions head to New Haven, Conn. on Saturday, Nov. 10 to take on Yale at 2 p.m.