Gwo Sets 19.7 Pool Record; Wojdylo Downs Katie Meili’s Pool Record vs. Cornell

Columbia vs. Cornell



  1. Columbia 164
  2. Cornell 136


  1. Columbia 167
  2. Cornell 133

Columbia sprint star Albert Gwo set a Pool Record as the team beat Ivy rival Cornell last week. Gwo’s record came in the 50 free, where he put up a 19.71. That’s just 2 tenths slower than his lifetime best, which he swam last month. Gwo swept the sprints at the meet, winning the 100 free as well in 44.58.

Nianguo Liu was another top performer for the men. He dominated both of his races, posting a 1:36.96 in the 200 free. He also won the 200 breast by 4 seconds in 2:00.14. Liu had the fastest 100 free time of the meet. On the 400 free relay leadoff, he put up a 44.35.

In the women’s meet, Helen Wojdylo set a Pool Record for Columbia. In the 100 breast, she raced to a 1:01.62 win to top the field by almost 3 seconds. The former Pool Record was held by Olympic silver medalist Katie Meili at 1:02.11. Wojdylo remains undefeated in the event this season.


NEW YORK — Junior Albert Gwo posted a new Uris Pool record in the 50-yard freestyle going a speedy 19.71, and the Columbia men’s swimming and diving team pushed past Cornell, 167-133, on Tuesday afternoon in the team’s first meet of the new year.

The Lions rise to 4-1 overall on the campaign, including a 3-1 mark in Ivy League meets. Cornell falls to 3-4, 1-4 Ivy.

“Any time you win, it’s gotta be good,” said Columbia head coach Jim Bolster after the meet. “This is always a meet that you sort of never know exactly how the kids are going to respond. We were just in Hawaii for 10 days, so there’s some jetlag, some travel fatigue, so you’re kind of on edge, but for the most part I thought they did really well. There were a couple of guys that were way off, and if we’re going to have a chance at Brown on Saturday we’re going to have to figure that out, but overall they did a good job.”

Winning nine of the 16 events in the meet, the Lions had three individuals win multiple events while also taking top honors in both relay events.

First-year Ben Blizard was Columbia’s highest finisher in both diving events, finishing second on both the opening 3-meter (333.45) and 1-meter (264.60).

“Ben was very consistent,” said diving coach Scott Donie. “Casey [Fellows] and Shinya [Kondo] were solid on the 1-meter. We will need to be sharper all around against Brown this week. We will work on a few specific as we prepare ourselves for a quick turnaround.”

Columbia got its first win of the meet in the 200 medley relay as Cole StevensNian-Guo LiuJonas Kistorp and Gwo combined for a time of 1:30.55.

Sophomore Shawn Lou kept the winning going, picking up a victory in the 1,000 freestyle after touching the wall at 9:34.35. Sophomore David Wang was second in the event, going 9:39.38. Lou later earned his second victory of the meet, taking the 500 free after touching the wall in 4:38.25.

Just .01 seconds from matching his pool record in the event, Liu once again won the 200 freestyle, this time clocking a 1:36.96 to lead a 1-2 finish for Columbia ahead of first-year Thomas Shepanzyk (1:41.32). Liu went on to also win the 200 breaststroke at 2:00.14.

The Big Red had back-to-back wins in the 100 backstroke and 100 breaststroke before first-year Ray Yang righted the ship with a triumph in the 200 butterfly at 1:49.16.

After posting his pool-record 19.71 in the 50 free, Gwo went on to win his second event of the day in the 100 free with a time of 44.58, leading a 1-2-3 finish for the Lions in front of Hayden Liu (45.99) and Kevin Dang (46.13).

Ending the meet on a high note, the Lions’ squad of Nian-Guo Liu, Gwo, Dang and Eugene Li put together a time of 3:00.20 to win the 400 free relay.

Columbia will be back in action this Saturday, Jan. 18, heading to Providence, Rhode Island, to face the Brown Bears. The meet is slated to begin at noon ET.
For the latest on the Columbia men’s swimming and diving program, follow @ColumbiaMenSwim on Twitter, @ColumbiaMenSwimming and @ColumbiaDiving on Instagram, and on the web at


NEW YORK — Highlighted by a pool-record swim in the 100-yard breaststroke from senior Helen Wojdylo, the Columbia women’s swimming and diving team kicked off the new year victoriously with a 164-136 victory over the visiting Cornell Big Red inside Percy Uris Natatorium on Sunday afternoon.

The Lions rise to 2-2 overall on the season, of which all four meets have come against conference opponents. Cornell falls to 2-5, 0-5 Ivy.

“It was a great way to start a new decade in Percy Uris,” said Columbia head coach Diana Caskey. “We had the chance for some swimmers to race events they don’t always get the chance to race and for others to start to fine tune their prime events.”

Columbia gained early momentum after winning the first six events of the meet, led off by a winning finish from first-year Livy Poulin on the 3-meter springboard after posting a score of 287.40. Sophomore Briget Rosendahl rounded out the top three with a bronze-worthy finish, carding a 275.33.

“A great start to the new year!” said Columbia diving coach Scott Donie after the meet. “I think the women really showed up and represented. Very good competition coming off of a very intense training trip.”

The victories continued as the Lions’ grouping of Julia SamsonOlivia JubinEmily Wang and Audrey Richter combined to take the opening 200-yard medley relay in 1:43.55. Columbia padded its lead, also finishing third and fourth in the race.

Mary Pruden provided the first individual swimming triumph of the day, taking the 1,000 freestyle with a personal-best time of 10:01.34. First-year Olivia Jubin added a win in the 200 free, touching the wall in 1:49.34 and Lisa Zhang took top honors in the 100 backstroke, clocking in at 56.41.

Winning the event in a dual meet for the third time this season, Wojdylo remained undefeated in the 100 breast after posting her pool record on Sunday. The new mark of 1:01.62 lowered the previous record of 1:02.11 set by Katie Meili ’13CC.

Cornell earned its first win of the day in the 200 butterfly, with first-year Jessica Peng turning in the best finish for Columbia in second with a time of 2:04.12.

In the 50 free, Richter posted a season-best time of 23.01 to win the event. The Big Red went on to win the next three events before first-year Karen Liu led a 1-2-3 finish in the 200 breast with a winning time of 2:14.83. Fellow first-year Isabella Fratesi was runner up (2:20.27) and Samson rounded out the top three in 2:22.67.

Wang led the way for Columbia in the 100 butterfly, touching first in 55.40. First-year Jubin finished off the individual events with her second win of the day, touching in at 4:18.79 in the 400 IM.

Cornell wrapped things up with a triumph in the 400 free relay, posting a winning time of 3:25.83. The Lions quartet of Wojdylo, Clare LarsenJessica He and Wang were close behind for a second-place time of 3:26.23.

The Lions continue Ivy League action in their first road contest of the season next weekend, traveling to face Brown at noon on Saturday.

For the latest on the Columbia women’s swimming and diving program, follow @CULadySwim on Twitter and Instagram, @ColumbiaDiving on Instagram and on the web at


NEW YORK – The Cornell men’s swimming and diving team may have fallen to Columbia, 167-133, on Tuesday afternoon, but the Big Red was well-represented in both the swimming and diving disciplines, as junior diver Brett Hébert and freshman swimmer Paige daCosta picked up multiple individual event wins against the Lions at the Percy Uris Natatorium in New York.

Hébert shined in both the 1-meter and 3-meter diving competitions, winning both events by a margin of at least 20 points. He racked up 333.45 points en route to a victory in the 3-meter, while winning the 1-meter with 291.30 points. Jameson Crandell joined Hébert in the top-three for both events, notching a pair of third place finishes in the 1-meter (256.73) and 3-meter (267.23) diving competitions.

daCosta’s successful freshman campaign continued, as he picked up three individual victories on Tuesday afternoon in the 100-yard backstroke (49.19), 200-yard backstroke (1:48.25), and 200-yard IM (1:50.35). With daCosta leading the pack, the Big Red swept the podium in the 200-yard backstroke, going 1-2-3 in the event. Van Cates (1:51.44) and Ricardo Martinez (1:52.35) followed daCosta’s lead, placing second and third, respectively.

daCosta didn’t stop there, however, as he teamed up with Ryan BrownJack Mahoney, and Trevor Lake in the 200-yard medley relay, helping the Big Red to a second place finish with a time of 1:31.43. Brown made his presence known in his individual events as well, emerging victorious in the 100-yard breaststroke (55.82) and placing second in the 200-yard breaststroke (2:04.49).

James Huang paced a Big Red squad that went 1-3-4 in the 100-yard butterfly, winning the event with a time of 49.49. Mahoney (50.05) and Mullin (50.42) weren’t far behind, touching the wall third and fourth, respectively. This marked Mahoney’s third top-three finish of the day, as the senior also finished second in the 50-yard freestyle (20.45) in addition to swimming a leg on the second-place 200-yard medley relay. Huang also found success in the 200-yard butterfly, placing second overall in 1:49.58.

Chris Kostelni picked up a pair of top-three finishes in the distance events, placing second in the 500-yard freestyle (4:41.22) and third in the 1,000-yard freestyle (9:39.60).

The Big Red men’s swimming and diving team will return to the pool when it squares off against Yale in an Ivy League matchup on Jan. 17-18 in New Haven, Conn. The diving events are scheduled for a 5 p.m. start on Friday, Jan. 17, with the swimming events following on Saturday, Jan. 18 at 11 a.m.


200-yard IM
3rd – Min Zhi Chua (1:55.02)
4th – Jack Valiquette (1:55.92)
5th – Ryan Pirrung (1:56.59)

200-yard Freestyle
3rd – Ricardo Martinez (1:41.40)

400-yard Freestyle Relay
2nd – Ricardo MartinezJames HuangJake LawsonHunter Hitchens (3:06.89)

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About Lauren Neidigh

Lauren Neidigh

Lauren Neidigh is a former NCAA swimmer at the University of Arizona (2013-2015) and the University of Florida (2011-2013). While her college swimming career left a bit to be desired, her Snapchat chin selfies and hot takes on Twitter do not disappoint. She's also a high school graduate of The …

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