Gwo Sweeps Sprints as Columbia Men Edge Out Princeton

PRINCETON vs. COLUMBIA

  • February 8, 2020
  • Hosted by Princeton
  • Short Course Yards
  • Full Results

TEAM SCORES

  • COLUMBIA 160
  • PRINCETON 140

Ivy League rivals Columbia and Princeton met on Saturday for a men’s dual meet in New Jersey. The Lions came out on top, edging out the Tigers by 20 points. Columbia sprint standout Albert Gwo swept the sprints. In the 50 free, he was over half a second ahead of the field as he touched with a 20.24 to win it. He was the only man under 45 in the 100 free, winning that race by well over a second in 44.80.

Teammate Nianguo Liu came up with a trio of individual wins. In the 100 breast, he took it out fast and narrowly held on to beat Princeton’s Corey Lau, 55.74 to 55.80. Liu went on to win the 500 free (4:29.76), while Lau took a win for the Tigers in the 200 breast (2:02.68). In the final individual race of the day, Liu put up a 1:50.58 in the 200 IM for the win.

Freshman Raunak Khosla was a multi-event winner for the Tigers, coming from behind on the back half to win the 200 free in 1:40.65. Khosla also won the 100 fly. Columbia’s Jonas Kistorp (49.28) was out quick with the lead. Khosla once again came through with a surge on the back half, clipping Kistorp by hundredths to win it in 49.19.

PRESS RELEASE – COLUMBIA

PRINCETON, N.J. — In the final dual meet of the 2019-20 campaign, Columbia men’s swimming and diving battled its way to a 160-140 road victory over the Princeton Tigers on Saturday afternoon inside DeNunzio Pool. The victory marked the Lions’ first at Princeton since the 1979-80 season.

The win also marked the Lions’ first road win of the season.

Columbia concludes its dual schedule with a 6-3 overall record, including a 5-2 mark in Ivy League contests. Princeton drops to 7-3, 5-2 Ivy.

“It was a lot of fun,” said Columbia head coach Jim Bolster. “The guys really did a terrific job. It was a great way for the seniors to finish their dual meet careers because they have just been an unbelievable bunch to work with. They have a lot of fun, there’s great camaraderie, they have great work ethic. They really a modeled a program that you’d want to be a part of, so it was just really fitting for them to be able to win their last meet.”

Continuing to show strength in the relay races, the Lions jumped ahead early with a winning 200-yard medley relay swim from Cole StevensNian-Guo LiuJonas Kistorp and Albert Gwo at 1:30.16, but the Tigers hung around with a 2-3 finish in the event.

The next two events saw Princeton move in front, notching the top three times in the 1,000 freestyle and a winning performance in the 200 free.

Taking advantage of a weaker event for the Tigers, Columbia had a strong showing in the 100 backstroke led by a winning effort from Stevens with a time of 49.17. Junior Baptiste Leger took second in the event with a 50.29, followed by Joe Skimmons in fourth at 51.25.

“It was critical to get things rolling in our favor with that backstroke event,” added Bolster. “That was pivotal to us getting on a roll and starting to get a bit of momentum.”

Swimming an off-race, Nian-Guo Liu put the Lions back in front with a triumph in the 100 breast, out-touching Princeton’s Corey Lau by just .06 seconds to win the race in 55.74.

The teams continued to go back-and-forth, with Gwo claiming victories in both the 50 free (20.24) and 100 free (44.80), with the latter leading a 1-2-3 finish for Columbia.

In an important moment, Leger swam his way to a win in the 200 back, clocking in at 1:47.62 to lead a 1-3-4-5 finish for the Lions in the event. The Tigers would respond with a victory in the 200 breast before Liu posted a winning time of 4:29.76 in the 500 free, swimming the dual event for just the second time this season and the first in an Ivy meet.

After Princeton took the 200 butterfly, Liu came in clutch again with a victorious 1:50.58 in the 200 IM ahead of Stevens (1:50.95).

In the penultimate event, first-year Ben Blizard provided important points with a second-place finish on 3-meter at 327.60, while senior Shinya Kondo also scored with a fourth-place performance (303.83).

“This was one of Ben’s strongest 3-meter performances of the season,” said diving coach Scott Donie. “Also proud of Shinya in his final dual meet of his career. Overall, it was a great way to finish, a great team effort.”

Leading just 147-136 heading into the final event, Columbia needed at least a second place showing in the closing 400 free relay. The Lion quartet of Hayden Liu, Kistorp, Kevin Dang and Gwo did even better, getting the job done with a winning time of 3:01.39.

The Lions will look ahead to the championship season, traveling to Cambridge, Massachusetts, for the Ivy League Championships, hosted by Harvard from Feb. 26-29.

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 GoColumbiaLions.com.

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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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