Ben Collins Leads the Way as Columbia’s Lions Roar, Sink Navy

NEWS YORK, NY, February 12. COLUMBIA University's Ben Collins was pictured on the the cover of today's men's swimming & diving program vs. Navy, and it proved quite prophetic.

The Lions' senior co-captain broke a 15-year-old Uris Pool record in the 200 yard individual medley to lead Columbia to a 166-134 Eastern Intercollegiate Swim League (EISL) triumph over Navy in the Lions' final dual meet of the season.

Collins, who already has the school record in the event, swam 1:51.65 to break the previous record of 1:51.89 set in 1990 by Penn's Steve Kutner. Collins won today's race by more than five seconds. Just two events earlier, he placed first in the 100 fly in 50.81, just 0.13 seconds ahead of teammate Ben Neuwirth.

Collins also won the 200 fly in 1:51.67 and swam the breast leg of the Lions' winning 200 medley relay which opened the meet with a victory in 1:34.57. Andrew DiMichele, Michael Nelson and Tobin White were that relay's other three legs.

Columbia had jumped out to a 13-4 advantage after that first event and opened up a 79-33 lead after six events. The Midshipmen took first in the 100 free and first and third in the 200 back to pull within 20, 104-84, after 10 events, but the Lions again surged over the meet's final six events.

Nelson, John McGrath and Mike Emory led a 1-2-3 Columbia sweep of the 200 breast in 2:07.83, 2:08.11 and 2:10.83, respectively. In the next event, the 500 free, sophomore Jake Abbott came from behind in the final two laps to win in 4:37.15. Earlier, Abbott had won the 1000 free in 9:38.56 as he and teammate Henning Fog took first and second.

White was the Lions' other event-winner. The sophomore swam 1:43.49 to win the 200 free. In diving, Justin Reardon took second on both boards, and had a season-best score of 331.39 on the 3m.

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