Suckow Shatters Pool Records As Penn Men Top Columbia In Ivy Debut

by Spencer Penland 0

November 05th, 2018 College, News, Previews & Recaps

COLUMBIA vs PENN (Men’s Dual)

  • Saturday, November 3rd
  • Sheerr Pool, Philadelphia, PA
  • Short Course Yards
  • Results


  1. Penn – 172
  2. Columbia – 128

Penn’s men’s team won 10 of 16 events against Columbia on Saturday, November 3rd, in both team’s first Ivy League matchup of the season. Sophomore diver Jonathan Suckow led the charge for Columbia, taking the diving events in pool record fashion. In the 1 meter, Suckow won the event by 48 points, also breaking the Sheerr pool record. Suckow was even more dominant in the 3 meter, taking the event by a whopping 86 points, posting a score of 384.52, shattering the pool record.

Penn kicked off the meet with a very narrow victory over Columbia in the 200 medley relay. Penn out-split Columbia on each of the 1st 3 legs, with Mark Blinstrub leading off in 23.14, followed by Mark Andrew (24.90), and Sean Lee (21.72). Then Columbia’s Albert Gwo threw down a 19.70 anchor split, compared to Penn’s Thomas Dillinger (20.23), bringing the teams to a 1:29.99 – 1:30.07 finish favoring Penn.

Columbia’s Nianguo Liu won the 200 free, marking himself as the only swimmer in the field to break 1:40. Liu led the entire race, roaring to the wall in 1:38.45 to beat out a 2-3-4 finish by Penn. Liu also went on to win the 100 free, cracking 45 seconds by posting a 44.94. Blinstrub went on to win the 100 and 200 backstrokes. In the 100, Blinstrub posted a 49.30, holding off Columbia’s Cole Stevens (49.56). Blinstrub again got the better of Stevens in the 200 back, this time by a bigger margin (.92 seconds). Blinstrub won that race by out-splitting Stevens on the final 3 50s, touching in 1:49.85 to Stevens’ 1:50.87.

Boris Yang handled the men’s breast events. In the 100, Yang swam a 56.40, beating out the field by over a second. Yang then beat Mark Andrew in the 200, 2:02.15 to 2:03.41, thanks in large part to a 30.54 split on the final 50. Andrew went on to win the 200 IM with a 1:50.78. He was fueled by a very quick 56.54 on the 2nd 100.


  • 1000 free: CJ Hinckley (Penn) – 9:27.24
  • 500 free: Will Thomas (Penn) – 4:33.40
  • 100 fly: Sean Lee (Penn) – 49.27
  • 200 fly: Sean Lee (Penn) – 1:49.60
  • 50 free: Albert Gwo (Columbia) – 20.57
  • 400 free relay: Columbia – 3:03.20



PHILADELPHIA — Sophomore diver Jonathan Suckow had record setting performances to sweep the diving events, but the Columbia men’s swimming and diving team ultimately dropped a 172-128 decision to the Penn Quakers on Saturday in Philadelphia.

The Lions were coming straight off a 160-140 season-opening victory over Army on Friday evening, while Penn was racing in its first meet of the season.

“I was pleased overall with the performance today,” said Columbia head coach Jim Bolster. “It’s tough being on the road on a Friday night and then turning around and swimming against one of the better league teams on a Saturday, but I thought the guys put forth a pretty good effort. Penn has a good team and the score’s probably not quite indicative of how close the meet was with regards to a lot of the individual races.”

Suckow got things moving on the right foot, breaking the Scheerr Pool record on the 1-meter springboard with a score of 384.52 before going on to do the same on 3-meter with a 388.95 tally. Also highlighting the diving performances was Kevin Fulton, who posted a NCAA Zones qualifying score of 320.85 on 3-meter, finishing fourth in the event.

“A great start to Ivy League competition for the divers,” said diving coach Scott Donie. “Getting an NCAA Zone qualifying score this early is a very good sign for Kevin, and Jonathan continues to rewrite the record books all over the league.”

Two Lions earned individual swimming wins in the outing. Junior Nian-Guo Liu had an excellent showing, posting top finishes in both the 100- and 200-yard freestyle. Liu came into the wall in 1:38.45 in the 200, before posting the top time in the 100 at 44.94. Sophomore Albert Gwo claimed a win in the 50 free for the second consecutive meet with a time of 20.57.

Ending things on a strong note, Columbia’s 400 free relay squad of Nian-Guo LiuHayden Liu, Mekal El Halou and Jonas Kistorp combined for the victory with a time of 3:03.20 in the final event.

“At the end of the year, at a championship meet, you have to swim three days in a row really hard, prelims and finals. So, a weekend like this is one of the ways we prepare for that,” said Bolster. We try to make the guys feel that a little bit during the year by traveling back to back. I think it’s really good preparation for the season ahead. Our first five meets are all on the road, so if they can handle this, they should be able to handle just about anything else.”

The Lions will be back in action next weekend as they continue their road stretch at Yale on Saturday, Nov. 10. The meet is set for a 1 p.m. ET start.
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



PHILADELPHIA – The University of Pennsylvania swimming and diving teams split the dual meets with Columbia this weekend, with the women losing 157-129 and the men winning 172-128.

Penn Women
Catherine Buroker started the meet, picking up her first win with Penn in the 1000 fly with a time of 10:17.46. Erin Kiely and Grace Giddings finished second and third in the event respectively. 

Another newcomer, Hannah Kannan, picked up the Quakers second win on the day, winning the 100-yard backstroke and clocking in at 57.05. Freshman Tara Larusso picked up her first win for the Red and Blue after winning the 200-back (2:02.40).

Burzynska picked up her first win for Penn in the 100-fly (56.12) and Anderson Myers finished just behind in second (56.77).
Captain Nancy Hu got her senior season off with a win, placing first in the 200 fly (2:02.80), and Wendy Yu and Mollie Westrick finished first and second in the 50-free finishing in 24.25 and 24.30 seconds respectively.

Penn Men
The Quakers kicked off the meet with a big first place finish in the 200-medley relay, finishing in 1:29.99. CJ Hinckley followed with his first victory with the Red and Blue, finishing first in the 1000 free (9:27.40). Will Thomas finished just behind Hinckley in the same event. Thomas placed first in the 500 free (4:33.40) later in the meet. 

Blinstrub started his season in winning ways, placing first in the 100 back (49.30) and the 200 back (1:49.95). Boris Yang started his sophomore season with a pair of first place finishes in the 100 breast (56.40) and the 200 breast (2:02.15). 

Mark Andrew began his senior season with a strong meet against Columbia. Andrew won the 200 IM (1:50.78) and earned a pair of second place finishes in the 200 free and 200 
breast (2:02.15). 

Freshman starlet Sean Lee entered his sophomore season with some wins, taking the 100 
fly (49.27) and 200 fly (1:49.60).

Quakers will make the short trip to La Salle on Wednesday Nov. 7 for a showdown with the Explorers scheduled at 6 p.m.

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