NEW YORK - The Columbia women's swimming and diving team captured a monumental win on Friday, Feb. 10, as they defeated Princeton for the first time in program history, 173-127. The Lions captured the meet winning 11 of 16 events, with junior Katie Meili leading the charge with three first-place finishes.
First-year Chacha Bugatti ignited the Lions with the first win of the meet in the 1000 yard freestyle. Buggati finished with a winning time of 9:57.58 and sophomore Aileen Smith placed second with a time of 10:10.35.
First-year Salena Huang captured the next event of the meet with a first-place finish in the 200 yard freestyle with a time of 1:48.72. First-year Anne Steele finished second for the Lions in the event, with a time of 1:52.49. First-year Mikaila Gaffey added another win for Columbia in the 100 yard breaststroke, finishing with the top time of 1:04.32
A strong showing in the 200 yard butterfly and the 200 yard backstroke fueled the Lions' early fire, as they took the top three spots in each event. Junior Caroline Lukins won the 200 yard butterfly with a time of 2:02.30. Junior Lacey Harris-Coble posted a time of 2:03.66 to finish in second, and senior Caitlin Rogers came in third at 2:04.40.
The 200 yard backstroke was captured by sophomore Laney Kluge, with a winning time of 1:59.90. Sophomore Grace Senko took second place at 2:01.28 and senior Dorothy Baker followed in third with a time of 2:02 flat.
Katie Meili swam a fantastic meet, with her first win of the day coming in the 50 yard freestyle with a time of 23.03. Meili added another victory in the 200 yard breaststroke, winning in 2:13.58.
The Lions continued to power ahead as Chacha Bugatti and Salena Huang fared well in the 500 yard freestyle. Bugatti took first place with a time of 4:52.16, and Huang arrived in second place with a time of 4:56.63. Junior Kristina Parsons followed with a win in the 100 yard butterfly, with a personal best time of 55.37. A second place finish in the 1-meter diving event by senior Kristin Hehir, tallying 265.65 points, also added team points for the Lions.
Columbia captured the meet in the 200 yard IM, as Meili earned her third win of the day, finishing with a time of 2:01.37. Kluge aided in second place with a time of 2:04.05, to help the Lions take the event. The squad of Huang, Gaffey, Steele, and first-year Stella Zhao won the last event of the meet in the 400 yard freestyle with a time of 3:26.64.
The team improves to 7-1 on the season and 5-1 in the Ivy League with this historic win. Columbia now holds second place in the conference after getting its fifth consecutive win on the year.
The Lions will return home Saturday, Feb. 11 at 11 a.m. to face the Big Green of Dartmouth. Columbia will honor the senior class of 2012 as they compete in their final meet at Uris Pool.