Zack Wolbert Breaks 34-Year-Old Mel Stewart Record at La Salle’s Kirk Pool

La Salle University vs. Loyola

  • March 20, 2021
  • Kirk Pool, La Salle University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • Short Course Yards (25 yards), timed finals
  • Results
  • Team Scores:
    • La Salle Men 156 – Loyola Men 138
    • Loyola women 165 – La Salle Women 130

Three Pool Records went down at this weekend’s dual meet between Division I programs La Salle University and Loyola University, as the two teams split the results of their dual meet.

Both teams are headed toward their respective conference championship meets in mid-April, with La Salle swimming at the A10 Championships from April 14-17 in Ohio, and Loyola swimming at the Patriot League Championships a week later in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania.

The record board at La Salle’s Kirk Pool is home to a number of big names, owed mostly to the glory days of prep school swimming in the late 1980s and early 1990s.

One fewer of those legendary names is left on the board after Saturday’s dual meet, however. Olympic gold medalist Mel Stewart, co-founder of, previously held the 200 fly record in 1:47.74, but junior Zack Wolbert wiped the last vestige of his name from the board by swimming a 1:47.73 – just .01 seconds faster.

Stewart set his record in 1987 while swimming for nearby Mercersburg Academy before matriculating to the University of Tennessee. He would eventually break the World Record in the 200 fly.

Stewart’s other previous Pool Record, in the 100 fly, was broken by Brendan Burns in 2019.

Wolbert, whose sister Emily is an assistant coach for La Salle, was the runner-up at last year’s A10 Championships in both the 200 fly (1:45.93) and 400 IM (3:51.07). His 200 fly time from Saturday is the fastest time in the A10 by 2 seconds this season. He also won the 100 fly (49.19) and 400 IM (4:00.02).

On the women’s side, a pair of Pool Records, albeit newer records, were also broken by La Salle’s Sara Rizzetto. In the 200 back, she won by more than 3 seconds in 2:00.08, which blew away the old record of 2:01.90 that was set by Episcopal Academy’s Emma Sieberlich in 2014.

Rizzetto then came back with a 4:24.40 in the 400 IM, winning by a whopping 18 seconds, to break Madison Visco’s 2013 Pool Record of 4:26.94. Visco swam for Germantown Academy at the time.

In total, La Salle now holds 7 of its own Pool Records in men’s and women’s swimming.

Rizzetto also was dominant in the 200 free on Saturday, winning in 1:52.28.

Loyola was without one of its star swimmers, freshman Lily Mead, for the meet. She broke the school record in the 200 IM in late February, but in spite of her absence, Loyola still managed to hand La Salle its first loss of the season.

The Greyhounds still had a trio of double-winners on the women’s side: Abby Andrews swept the 100 and breaststrokes in 1:06.15 and 2:24.47, respectively; Megan Dickey won the 50 free (23.88) and 100 free (51.95) in back-to-back races; and Elizabeth Walsh won the 100 back (57.29) and 200 back (2:03.70).

With winners of three of the four 100 yard events at the meet, it’s no surprise that Loyola was able to dominate the 200 medley relay in 1:47.09.

La Salle was able to win the closing women’s 400 free relay in 3:29.84.

Among the highlights for the Loyola men was a sweep of the backstroke races by Mark Boran, winning a tight race in the 100 in 51.11, and a more comfortable race inthe 200 back in 1:48.90.

Press Releases

Courtesy: La Salle Athletics

PHILADELPHIA – Men’s swimming & diving defeated Loyola (Md.) 156-138 on Saturday for its sixth straight victory over the Greyhounds. Junior Zachary Wolbert led the way with three wins, breaking a pool record in the 200 Fly.


  • Wolbert’s time of 1:47.73 ever so barely cracked the previous mark of 1:47.74, which was set in 1987.
  • The East Stroudsburg, Pa. native also took home wins in the 100 Fly (49.19) and 400 IM (4:00.02).
  • Senior Isaiah Gregory picked up a pair of wins in the breaststroke. He clocked a winning time of 57.26 in the 100 Breast and 2:09.57 in the 200 Breast.
  • On the boards, sophomore Sam Henninger was the other Explorer to get multiple wins. He and junior Steve Stasolla went 1-2 in the 1-meter and 3-meter events.
  • Earning his first collegiate victory was freshman Zack Miller, who beat out the competition in the 100 Free with a time of 46.69.
  • Sophomore Jake Kramer also earned a win in the 1000 Free, clocking in at 9:47.31.


  • The Explorers wrap up their regular season with Senior Day on March 27th against Villanova.

PHILADELPHIA – Women’s swimming & diving endured its first defeat of the 2021 season, falling to Loyola (Md.) 165-130. The afternoon was highlighted by the display put on by junior Sara Rizzetto, who broke pool records in the 200 Back and 400 IM, while also adding a victory in the 200 Free.


  • Rizzetto’s first record-breaking performance came in the 200 Back. Her time of 2:00.08 eclipsed the mark set in 2014 by almost two seconds (2:01.90).
  • The Germany native then beat out the competition in the 400 IM with a time of 4:24.20, which smashes the mark of 4:26.94 set in 2013.
  • The other multi-event winner for the Blue & Gold was junior Phoebe Shaya on the boards. Shaya claimed both the 1-meter and 3-meter dives.
  • Sophomore Nina Kolodgie started off the individual results well for the Explorers with a victory in the 1000 Free. Her time of 10:53.83 was nearly 10 seconds faster than the second-closest swimmer.
  • Freshman watch: Rookies Megan Heist and Ava Carter both earned second-place finishes on the day—Heist in the 100 Breast and Carter in the 200 Fly.
  • Sophomore Toni Rafferty frequently took silver with second-place finishes in the 50 Free, 100 Free and 100 Fly.
  • Rafferty, Carter, Rizzetto and sophomore Brynn Peterson combined to win the 400 Free Relay with a time of 3:29.84.


  • The Explorers wrap up their regular season with Senior Day on March 27th against Villanova.

Courtesy: Loyola University

PHILADELPHIA – The Loyola University Maryland men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams finished Saturday with split results at La Salle University as the women’s side posted a 165-130 win over the Explorers, but the men fell, 156-138.

Abby AndrewsMegan DickeyElizabeth WalshColin Anderson and Mark Boran all won two events for the Greyhounds as the women came up with nine victories and the men had six.

Both 200 medley relay teams opened the meet with victories as Faith Tyranski, Andrews, Walsh and Dickey finished first on the women’s side in 1:47.09. Conor RutiglianoDavid Sears, Jimmy Haubury and Reid Hussey were victorious in the men’s race with a time of 1:32.49.

Maggie McCann (11:02.13) and Dylan Champagne (9:50.20) followed the relay wins with a pair of second-place finishes in the 1,000 freestyles.

Anderson had the first of his two wins in the men’s 200 freestyle, touching the wall in 1:42.92, while John Nguyen was third in 1:43.84. In the women’s version of the race, Claire Bowser (1:55.37) and Lauren Joyce (1:55.82) were second and third, respectively.

Walsh led a trio of Greyhounds who finished first through third in the 100 backstroke, winning in 57.29 in front of Maggie Manchester (59.03) and Tyranski (1:00.11).

The men’s 100 backstroke brought Boran his first win of the day as he claimed the top spot in 51.11, and Jonathan Brooks was third in 51.36.

Andrews captured first in the women’s 100 breaststroke with a time of 1:06.15, and Wade notched third in 1:09.00.

Molly Davis won the women’s 200 butterfly in 2:05.54, and Hussey finished second in 1:51.84 in the men’s race.

Dickey won back-to-back races for the women, first taking first in the 50 freestyle (23.88) before besting the field in the 100 freestyle (51.95). Claire Bowser picked up a third-place finish in the 100, clocking 53.00.

Jimmy Hayburn was a winner on the men’s side in the 50 freestyle in 21.40, while Rutigliano was third (21.51) and Anderson fourth (21.63). Rutigliano was then second in the 100 freestyle (46.85).

Walsh and Joyce finished second and third, respectively, in the 200 backstroke with times of 2:03.70 and 2:04.86.

Boran picked up his second first-place finish in the 200 backstroke, winning in 1:48.90 in front of Jonathan Brooks (1:52.97) and Casey Brown (1:53.59) in second and third.

Andrews scored her second victory of the afternoon in the women’s 200 breaststroke, leading three Greyhounds in the top three in 2:24.47. Wade and Caroline Arpin were second and third in 2:25.09 and 2:30.95.

Josh Walker and Brett Legambi were second and third in the men’s 200 breaststroke, swimming times of 2:09.85 and 2:10.96.

Joyce won the women’s 500 freestyle with a time of 5:10.26, while Hussey (4:36.49) and Champagne (4:42.45) were first and second in the men’s race.

Walsh finished her day with a first-place race in the 100 butterfly (57.57). Wade, Davis and Andrews culminated the women’s individual races with second through fourth place finishes in the 400 individual medley.

Brooks was third in the men’s 100 butterfly (50.65), and Hussey was second in the men’s 400 individual medley (4:00.82).

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5 months ago


Mr Piano
Reply to  GMM
5 months ago

We bout to see a comeback using USRPT to take it back?

Reply to  GMM
5 months ago

34 years is timeless! They probably had coke bottles for lane lines, wooden blocks and they hadn’t yet invented goggles then.

Will 37
5 months ago

Just wondering, are Mel’s Easterns records remain unbroken today?

Reply to  Will 37
5 months ago

gone a few years back

MA swim Mom
5 months ago

This past fall LaSalle had announced that they were eliminating several Sports – One of which was the Men’s Swim team. Has that decision been reconsidered? Will there still be a LaSalle men’s swim team next year?

5 months ago

He would be at least a second faster without the beard 🙂

Gold Medal Mel Stewart
Reply to  Tomek
5 months ago


Another Tomek
Reply to  Tomek
5 months ago

What’s up my guy

5 months ago

Did Mel swim beyond 15 on start/turns when he set the old record?

Edit: typo

Last edited 5 months ago by SprintDude9000
Gold Medal Mel Stewart
Reply to  SprintDude9000
5 months ago

Back then we were just starting to push the underwaters. I didn’t do in the 200 fly (or the 100y fly). I did in backstroke. I swam 60-70ys of the 100 underwater in HS, then in college same 98 yards underwater. I was 3rd at NCAAs behind David Berkoff (swimming next to him). I think I went 47 mid (???) back then (but we did have to touch to the wall though).
BTW…in 2-fly about 6 weeks after the 1:47, I swam a 1:44 at US Spring nationals.

5 months ago

Which is worse for Mel: Losing the record by :00.01 or having the byline say it was 34 years ago. All in good fun, that just shows some events have held the test of time. Google the National High school boys 500 free records and see how many top 20 times are from many, many years ago

Gold Medal Mel Stewart
Reply to  ZH
5 months ago

2-fly is one of those events where competition is LOW and SMALL (while you’re racing and into the future). I remember going to Nationals a few times and there were only 4 heats of the 2-fly. There were 20+ heats of 100 free. So, if you want to follow the path of least resistance, swim 2-fly, 400IM, 500 free. Your life will suck, certainly be an exercise in dealing with pain, but you’ll acclimate after a few years.

Reply to  Gold Medal Mel Stewart
5 months ago

I didn’t chose the sprint life Mel, the sprint life chose me. It’s not my fault I can’t finish anything more than 125 yards

Mr Piano
Reply to  Gold Medal Mel Stewart
5 months ago

Mel, I’d argue that being a flyer now is much easier than it was back in your day. Back then you guys did fricking 200s on repeats. Today we just swim Race Pace 50s and 100s for the most part.

Reply to  Gold Medal Mel Stewart
5 months ago

I have an even better course….I have 2 records still left. One from 1977 summer league SCM a relay in an age group that was cancelled in a league that lasted 50 years but finally closed. The other from 1972 a pool and team record in a 20 yard pool that has long been bulldozed. Nothing like “legacy” records lol

Aaron J Thomas
5 months ago

I’d love to hear from Mel or anyone with experience in the matter. You have an Olympic gold, so who cares is someone breaks a 34 year old pool record! But does having an Olympic Gold put everything else on summer league record level? If you have an Olympic you achieved the 10.0 score and climbed the mountain top. So NCAA title, conference title, pool record, summer league record, those were just just part of the journey to the top. It was just a journey, you got to the destination, and looking back all the stops along the way just fade together. Or is that just me hoping my summer league records are as important as the NCAA titles I… Read more »

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder/co-owner of He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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