NEW YORK – The Columbia men’s swimming and diving team (5-1) continued its run of success on Saturday afternoon, cruising to an 180-120 victory over the Brown Bears (1-4) at Uris Natatorium on senior day.
“It’s always good to get a win over another Ivy League team, especially one the caliber of Brown,” Head Coach Jim Bolster said. “We got back from our successful training trip late Thursday night, and I felt like it showed out there today. The guys were mentally and physically ready to go, and it resulted in winning a majority of the events against a good team. I hope that we can continue building on today’s performance, and ride this momentum into next meet.”
The competition began with the 3-meter diving event, and Jonathan Sukow continued to shine for the Lions. Despite a failed sixth dive, the senior diver still came out victorious with a score of 389.03. Later in the afternoon, in the 1-meter, Suckow once again took first place with a score of 396.30 to make it a perfect afternoon. Nick Leavell also had a good day on the boards, scoring four points for the Lions thanks to a second place finish in the 1-meter (332.03 points) and a fifth place finish in the 3-meter (280.43 points).
“Inspired performances all around today,” Head Diving Coach Scott Donie said. “It gave me a renewed sense of appreciation for how fortunate I am to do what I do. These four seniors have changed me and our program forever. All I can say is thank you!”
The swimming events began with the 200-medley relay, and Columbia’s A relay team came through with the victory. Andy Huang, Michael Chang, brian leeand Zion James combined for a time of 1:29.90 to earn the Lions 11 points and a 25-11 advantage heading into individual swimming events.
Adam Wu took first place in the first individual event of the day, coasting to a victory in the 1000-free with a time of 9:10.67. He also went on to win the 100-fly (49.33) later in the afternoon.
Kyle Won followed that up with a win in the 200-free, clocking in at 1:40.19 to earn the Lions nine points and put them in front, 47-27. Then, Stanford Li won the 100-back with a time of 49.68 to extend that lead to 62-31.
Columbia’s sprinters helped put the team in great position for the rest of the day with a sweep in the 50-free, led by Zion James who placed first with a time of 20.80.
As the afternoon wound down, Josh Cho helped put the finishing touches on the Lions’ victory with a dominant win in the 200-back (1:50.82). This put Columbia in front, 141-66.
During today’s meet, the swimming and diving team honored its 10 seniors during the break between the 100-fly and 200-IM. This group consists of Ben Blizard, Michael Chang, Keegan Drew, Casey Fellows, Nick Leavell, Andy Lee, Thomas Shepancyk, Ike Shirakata, Jonathan Sukowand Ray Yang.
“Today we celebrate the remarkable careers of 10 of our athletes; six swimmers and four divers,” Bolster said. “The legacy of success, camaraderie and fun these 10 leave behind will long be remembered. Their willingness to invest in each other and the entity that is Columbia Swimming and Diving has been inspirational. We cannot thank them adequately for all that they have accomplished individually and collectively. We wish them the best as they move forward, but hope they will return often and be generous!”
The Lions will be back at it in a week, heading to Annapolis, Md. to take on Navy in a head-to-head matchup. The meet is scheduled to begin at 2 pm
KEEPING UP WITH THE LIONS
For the latest on the Columbia men’s swimming and diving program, follow @CULionsMSD and @CULionsDiving on Instagram and Twitter, and on the web at GoColumbiaLions.com.