NEW YORK – The Columbia women’s swimming & diving team notched another Ivy League win Saturday, as the Lions beat the Brown Bears at Homecoming, 163-137. In front of a capacity crowd of family, friends and program graduates, Columbia had one of its best meets of the year, including a new pool record time. With the win, the Lions improve to 4-3 overall and 2-3 in the Ivy League.
Columbia opened the meet with a win, as the divers went 1-2-3 in the 3m board to put the Lions up early. Junior Stephanie Foster took the top spot, scoring 258.76 points, followed by first-years Kathleen Furr (251.25 points) and Liana Diamond (245.40 points). But Brown answered right away, taking the top spot in the 200 medley relay, to get 11 points on the board. The first two events were a sign of what was to come, as the meet would see Columbia surge ahead, only to have Brown make up the ground.
The next event was the 1000 free, though the Columbia swimmers continued past that, swimming a 1650 free for time purposes. The Lions had incredibly strong swims from all four athletes in the event. First-year Corinna Bertelsen and sophomore Molly Dengler swam lifetime bests in both the 1000 and 1650 free, while junior Isabelle Vandenbroucke swam a lifetime best in the 1650 free. Not to be outdone, senior Abby Reilly swam her best 1650 free in over two years, including besting her championship time from 2010. In the 1000, Columbia went 1-2-3 again, as Reilly took third in 10:26.24, Vandenbroucke took second in 10:20.40, and Dengler won the event in 10:17.93.
Columbia continued to see impressive performances for the remainder of the meet. In the 200 free, senior Ashley Maclean took third place in 1:53.98, while first-year Margaret D’Arcy won the event with a time of 1:52.73. The Lions also went 1-3 in the 100 back, as junior Dorothy Baker finished third in 59.15, and first-year Alena Kluge won by a touch, in 58.58.
Columbia’s lead increased after the 100 breast, as senior Annie Perizzolo took second in 1:04.86, and sophomore Katie Meili took the top spot, swimming 1:03.54. Her time was just two tenths of a second from a new pool record. Brown took the top spot in the 200 butterfly and the 50 free, closing the gap in the lead once again. Heading into the gap before diving, it was Columbia 89, Brown 61.
Diving was once again a huge source of points for the Lions, giving Columbia control of the meet once again. Furr took the top spot this time, scoring 244.57 points, while Diamond finished second with 237.75 points. That momentum proved to be crucial for the Blue and White, as Brown took the top spots in the next four events. In one of the most exciting races of the day, sophomore Kristina Parsons brought the Lions on top again, winning with a time of 56.97, just one tenth of a second ahead of the Bears.
Though Brown took the top two spots in the 200 IM, Columbia rebounded in the 400 free relay, winning the event, sealing the meet win, and setting a new pool record in the process. The team of senior Ashley MacLean, Meili, junior Isabelle Vandenbroucke and sophomore Lacey Harris-Coble hit the wall in 3:28.63, breaking a pool record time that had been set by a Penn relay team in 2003.
With the win in the 400 free relay, Columbia took the meet, 163-137. Up next for the Lions is league leading Princeton. Columbia will host the Tigers, Friday, February 4 at 6 p.m.