NEW YORK -- Coming off one of the best seasons in program history, the Columbia women’s swimming and diving team will look to continue with its precedent of success in the upcoming 2013-14 season under the helm of head coach Diana Caskey, now in her 23rd season with the Lions.
Columbia is set to open the season at home against Harvard on Saturday, Nov. 9 at noon. The last time the two teams met at Uris Pool, the Lions dropped their only dual meet loss of the season by a 157-143 margin, marking the closest contest ever between the programs. Columbia performed well setting four Uris Pool records, including milestones in the 100 breast, 100 back, 200 medley relay, and the 400 free relay.
With 20 student-athletes returning and 12 talented newcomers, the 2013-14 Lions are set to make a splash among the best in the league this season. Columbia graduated five student-athletes last year, including three-time first team All-American and holder of four Ivy League records, Katie Meili. Throughout her standout career, Meili set personal best times in every event in each discipline and captured back-to-back Swimmer of the Meet honors at the Ivy League Championships.
The Lions welcome back experience in senior Alena Kluge and junior Salena Huang, who both earned All-Ivy League accolades a season ago. Kluge had a stellar junior campaign, winning the 400 IM at the Ivy League Championships, while also setting school records in the 100 and 200-yard backstroke. Kluge and Meili teamed with Kristina Parsons ’13CC and Huang to win the 400 medley relay at the conference championship, setting a new program and Ivy League record by four seconds in the process.
Last year, Columbia tallied 37 points to finish 21st at the NCAA Championships, the highest finish in program history since a No. 20 finish in the 1998 championships. A stellar year for the Lions saw Columbia capture third place in the Ivy League Championships with the highest point total in school history at 1132. The Lions posted a 6-2 dual meet regular season record, earning a team-record six-straight dual meet wins. Columbia topped off the year setting a combined 24 pool records at Princeton, Rutgers, Cornell, Brown, Dartmouth and Columbia's Uris Pool.
In postseason competition, Columbia finished third at the Ivy League Championships, scoring more points at a conference championship than ever before as the Lions set program-best times in 48 out of 51 events.
The highlight of the dual season came when Columbia defeated Princeton for the second consecutive season. The Lions finished the season ranked sixth in the final Mid-Major poll, the top mark in program history, setting school records in 10 events in addition to four Ivy League records.
Follow the Lions
Fans can catch the action against Harvard on Saturday via a LIVE BLOG or by following along on Twitter @GoColumbiaLions and @ColumbiaU_SwimW.