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Courtesy: Columbia University Athletics/Gene Boyars

2013 Ivy League Women's Swimming & Diving Championships Preview

Courtesy: Columbia University Athletics
          Release: 02/26/2013
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NEW YORK - The Columbia women's swimming and diving team travels to Princeton, N.J., this weekend to battle for conference supremacy in the 2013 Ivy League Championships at Princeton's DeNunzio Pool.

The three-day meet starts on Thursday, Feb. 28 at 11 a.m. with a group of preliminary events. Each day will begin with 11 a.m. preliminaries, and then conclude with finals sessions at 6 pm. Click the link above to view the full schedule of events.

Adult ticket prices are set for $30 event pass, $4 one-day prelim ticket and $6 one-night finals ticket. Children (under 12) and student prices are $1 one-day prelims and $3 one-night finals tickets.

Columbia is coming off a strong finish to the dual-meet regular season, winning six straight meets to finish 6-2 overall and 5-2 in the Ivy League. The Lions streak included five victories over Ivy League opponents highlighted by a fantastic home win over Princeton on Feb. 8.

Featured Article: Six Uris Pool Records Highlights First Ever Home Win Over Princeton

The 194-104 win marked the second defeat over the Tigers in program history and earned the Lions a No. 22 ranking in the weekly Endless Pools/CollegeSwimming.com poll. The team closed the regular season taking down Dartmouth on the road and jumped to a three-way tie for second place in the conference standings with Princeton and Yale.

"The Columbia swimmers and divers have great momentum heading I to Ivies coming off many memorable performances in the last four dual meets," said Columbia women's swimming head coach Diana Caskey.   "The swimmers know they are capable of great things and have a lot racing confidence built on all the fast swims to date.  The divers know they can get it done based on throwing tough dives in pressure situations," said coach Caskey.

The Lions finished the regular season setting a combined 20 pool records at Rutgers, Cornell, Brown, Dartmouth and at Columbia's Uris Pool. Leading the way with a phenomenal senior season was Katie Meili, the 2012 Ivy League Most Outstanding Swimmer.

Featured Article: Meili Earns Swimmer of the Meet To Cap the 2012 Ivy League Championships

Meili has set seven individual pool records this season at Yale, Cornell, Rutgers, and against conference competition in Uris pool. She currently holds this season's fastest Ivy League 100 breaststroke time at 59.65. The co-captain is the only swimmer in the conference to post a time under the one-minute mark and is ninth fastest this season nationally.

She heads into the championships with the league's fastest time in the 200 breaststroke at 2:12.66 and the 200 IM at 1:57.42, an individual medley time that ranks No. 13 nationally. A multi-dimensional swimmer, Meili has top 10 conference times in the 50 freestyle, 100 freestyle, 200 freestyle and 400 IM events.

Meili and her fellow senior class members Lacey Harris-Coble, Kristin Hehir, Caroline Lukins and Kristina Parsons have all provided tremendous leadership in their final season. With a mix of veteran poise and improving young potential, the Lions look to be a major contender for the Ivy League team crown. The Lions have 10 different swimmers with top 10 league times heading into this weekend's battle and return last season's 200 freestyle relay winning quartet of Meili, Mikaila Gaffey, Salena Huang and Alena Kluge.

"The seniors provide the backbone of success and have the perspective of what it takes to get it done at Ivies.  It promises to be a very exciting weekend," said Coach Caskey.

On the boards, Columbia has a seasoned core that collectively remained atop the Ivy League. The squad picked up first-place points in every conference matchup in either the one-meter or three-meter diving events.  The combination of Hehir, Alyssa Menz and Kathleen Furr look to play a key role in the Lions potential success this weekend.

LIONS TO LOOK FOR:

Salena Huang

Ivy League Rank: #4  - 1000 Freestyle (9:56.49)

Ivy League Rank: #6 - 500 Freestyle (4:51.86)

In the 2012 Ivy League Championships, Huang earned first-team honors in the 200 freestyle relay, 400 medley relay and second-team honors in the 400 freestyle relay.

Aileen Smith

Ivy League Rank: #4 - 1650 Freestyle (16:46.26)

Ivy League Rank: #8 - 1000 Freestyle (10:04.41)

Alena Kluge

Ivy League Rank: #4 - 400 IM (4:19.01)

Ivy League Rank: #6 - 200 Backstroke (1:58.99)

Ivy League Rank: #7 - 200 IM (2:02.59)

Ivy League Rank: #8 - 100 Backstroke (55.53)

In the 2012 Ivy League Championships, Kluge earned first-team honors in the 200 freestyle relay.

Kristine Ng

Ivy League Rank: #9  - 400 IM (4:25.55)

Ivy League Rank: #10  - 200 Butterfly (2:02.00)

Daniela Rueda

Ivy League Rank: #6  - 1650 Freestyle (16:49.55)

Ivy League Rank: #9  - 1000 Freestyle (10:06.03)

Kristina Parsons

Ivy League Rank: #7 - 100 Butterfly (54.62)

In the 2012 Ivy League Championships, Kluge earned second-team honors in the 400 freestyle relay.

Caroline Lukins

Ivy League Rank: #5 - 200 Butterfly (2:00.67)

Christina Ray

Ivy League Rank: #10 - 100 Butterfly (54.90)

Mikaila Gaffey

Ivy League Rank: #4  - 100 Breaststroke (1:03.06)

In the 2012 Ivy League Championships, Kluge earned first-team honors in the 200 freestyle relay.

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