Men’s swimming and diving came up short against Harvard this weekend, struggling to keep up with the perennial dominant force of the Ivy League.
Although Columbia (3-1, 2-1 Ivy) lost with a staggering score of 192-107, the Light Blue missed out on several opportunities to generate more points.
“We swam really well against Penn and Yale,” head coach Jim Bolster said. “I think I probably underestimated what we could do today.”
Columbia fell victim to illness and injuries and kept a few key players out of the water—most prominently senior diver Jayden Pantel. First-year diver Jon Suckow took the gold in the three-meter and one-meter dives for the Lions, earning scores of 422.78 and 357.45, but Harvard took second- through fourth-place finishes in both events to drive up the score.
Still, the Lions triumphed with a victory over Harvard in the 200 medley relay, setting a pool record. Sophomore Cole Stevens, senior Jace Ng, senior Kevin Frifeldt, and first-year Albert Gwo clocked in with a winning time of 1:28.40. Gwo closed out the relay with an impressive 19.53 split to seal the deal for the Light Blue. He also earned second-place finishes in both the 50 free and the 100 free with times of 20.45 and 45.84, respectively.
In the breaststroke events, Ng took gold in the 100 breast with a 56.09, with junior Jack Smith and first-year Eric Tong also placing in the top four.
But the Crimson proved themselves as the defending Ivy League Champions by setting multiple pool records over the course of the meet. Logan Houck won the 1,000 free with a new record of 9:02.30, Brennan Novak won the 200 free with a 1:37.47, Dean Farris won both the 100 back and 100 free with times of 47.41 and 43.44, and Koya Osada set his second Uris Pool record in the 200 back at 1:46.94. To finish off the evening, the Crimson took home the gold and set a new pool record of 1:19.79 in the 200 free relay, consisting of Farris, Ed Kim, Steven Tan, and Paul O’Hara.
Individually, the Lions swam an above-average meet, but Bolster felt that he could have done more to generate more of a team threat against Harvard.
“I feel like I let the guys down a little bit,” Bolster said. “I didn’t anticipate what we were capable of. That first relay was fantastic.”
Columbia will compete again after the Thanksgiving holiday at the Big Al Invitational in Princeton from Dec. 1 to 3.