This past weekend men’s swimming and diving (3-1, 2-1 Ivy League) finished third with 488 points behind Princeton (5-2, 4-0 Ivy) and Brown (0-2, 0-1 Ivy).
Princeton hosted the Big Al Invitational, where competition included the likes of Villanova, Rider, Rutgers, and William and Mary at DeNunzio Pool. With Princeton set to host the Ivy League Championships, head coach Jim Bolster felt as if the meet was a good opportunity to get accustomed to the pool.
“We wanted to make sure that we had a chance to see the pool and swim in it, mimicking the conditions that we’re going to have in February,” Bolster said.
The first day of the invitational started off slow for the Lions as they finished fifth with a time of 1:21.56 in the 200 free relay which was composed of first-year Albert Gwo, sophomore Nian-Guo Liu, sophomore Hank Gullick, and senior Kevin Frifeldt—but the Lions brought the heat for the rest of the weekend.
Later that same evening, junior Shane Brett completed the 200 individual medley with a time of 1:48.02 to earn the bronze and was the first Lion to earn a podium finish. First-year diver Jonathan Suckow finished the evening with a gold medal in the three-meter event with a score of 430.35, adding to his impressive haul for the season.
On day two the Light Blue came out strong in the 400-meter I.M. as Brett and senior Jae Park took first- and third-place finishes with times of 3:50.77 and 3:52.42, respectively. Divers Suckow, sophomore Shinya Kondo, and junior Kevin Fulton all finished in the points for the three meter event with scores of 385.35, 257.15, and 246.70 to finish first, sixth, and ninth, respectively.
So far in this season the breaststroke events have proven to be a goldmine for the Lions, but this past weekend senior Jace Ng was the only swimmer to stand on the podium with his second-place finish and a time of 54.94 in the 100-meter race.
However, the 200-meter breaststroke proved much more successful for Columbia with swimmers Park, junior Jack Smith, and senior Joe Lozano earning points with times of 1:59.22, 1:59.75, and 2:01.89 to go one, two, and five in the event concluding the Light Blue’s contributions to the weekend.