CAMBRIDGE, Mass. - Day one of the 2012 Ivy League Championship meet started with a bang for the Columbia women's swimming and diving team at Harvard's Blodgett Pool. The Lions captured three Ivy League titles in the 200 freestyle relay, the 200 individual medley, and the 400 medley relay, as they look to capture a team Ivy League title.
The team of junior Katie Meili, first-year Mikaila Gaffey, first-year Salena Huang, and sophomore Laney Kluge ignited the Lions early in day one by winning the 200 freestyle relay with a Columbia record time of 1:32.58 in the championship final. The win marks the first time since 1993 Columbia has won the 200 freestyle relay Ivy League title, and only the second championship in the event in program history.
Huang continued to swim well, adding a win in the consolation finals of the 500 freestyle, hitting the wall at 4:51.21. First-year Chacha Bugatti also earned points for the Lions in the event with a fourth place finish in the consolation finals at 4:53.31.
Columbia jumped into third place behind Princeton and Harvard after Katie Meili continued her brilliance this season, by winning the Ivy League title in the 200 individual medley. Meili hit the wall with a time of 1:57.38, beating the school, meet and Ivy League record set by Columbia's Cristina Teuscher set in 1999. The time was also an NCAA 'B' cut time, just one second off an automatic qualify time. Laney Kluge also came in fourth in the championship final with a season-best time of 2:01.99.
With a time of 23.49, Mikaila Gaffey went on to take the consolation final in the 50 yard freestyle to help keep the Lions going. First-year Alyssa Menz took a consolation finals win in the 1 meter diving event as well, tallying 246.80 points.
The Lions capped day one with another Ivy League title win in the 400 medley relay. The team of senior Dorothy Baker, Meili, junior Kristina Parsons, and Huang posted a winning time of 3:40.87. Behind three Ivy League championship wins, Columbia finishes the day in fourth place, earning 285 points.
Columbia will continue their push for a team Ivy League title at day two of the Ivy League Championship meet on Friday, February 24. Friday's action will begin with preliminaries at 11 a.m., and will conclude with a nine-event finals session at 6 p.m. The championship session will include the 200 medley relay, 1000 freestyle, 400 individual medley, 100 butterfly, 200 freestyle, 100 breaststroke, 100 backstroke, 3-meter diving, and the 800 freestyle relay.