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Katie Meili (left) and Will Spear are Columbia's Student-Athletes of the Month of February.
Courtesy: Columbia University Athletics/Gene Boyars

Katie Meili, Will Spear Named Columbia's Student-Athletes of the Month for February

Courtesy: Columbia University Athletics
          Release: 03/01/2012
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NEW YORK - Junior swimmer Katie Meili and rookie fencer Will Spear were named the Most Outstanding Performers at their respective Ivy League Championship meets in February. After those performances, they gained Columbia's Student-Athlete of the Month awards for February.

Meili continued her brilliance this season with a stellar performance in the month of February. Meili posted three wins en route of Columbia’s first win in program history over Ivy League perennial power Princeton. With a time of 23.03, Meili captured a victory in the 50 yard freestyle. She went on to win the 200 yard breaststroke, finishing in 2:13.58, and the 200 yard individual medley in a time of 2:01.37. In the last dual meet of the season Meili added two first-place finishes to help the Lions defeat Dartmouth for the team's sixth straight win.  As a member of the 200 yard medley relay squad she helped the team finish with a winning time of 1:47.56. Meili went on to win the 200 yard freestyle, hitting the wall at 1:49.49.

The 2012 Ivy League Championships meet proved to be Meili’s best outing of the year as she captured five Ivy League titles, including three individual titles and she was unanimously voted Most Outstanding Swimmer of the Meet. Meili began the meet with her teammates capturing a win in the 200 freestyle relay with a school record time of 1:32.59. After settig a school, pool, and Ivy Leauge record time in the 200 IM with a time of 1:57.38, Meili swam with the Ivy League champion 400 medley relay team, winning with a time of 3:40.87.  She returned in day two to set another school, pool, and Ivy League record in the 100 breaststroke with a NCAA qualifying time of 59.64. Her final victory came in the 200 breaststroke with a NCAA 'B' cut time of 2:10.40 to cap the meet.

Spear was named the Men's Most Outstanding Performer of the Meet and the Men's Rookie of the Year at the 2012 Ivy League Fencing Championships in February. At the round-robin meet, Spear won 13 bouts, the most of any fencer, in 15 tries. He made first team All-Ivy League, determined by winning percentage at the meet.

Three days earlier, Spear went 9-0 at a multi-team meet against NYU, Sacred Heart and Vassar. Spear was the only male fencer to sweep all nine bouts during the competition. In the Lions' final meet of the month, Spear helped lead the Columbia men's sabre team to a silver medal at the US Weapon Squad Championships. Despite a 45-43 loss to Penn in the gold medal bout, Columbia posted convincing wins over Yale and Notre Dame.

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