Katie Meili Heads To 2012 NCAA Championships
NEW YORK, N.Y. - Following three individual Ivy titles in the league championship meet on Thursday, February 23 - Saturday, February 25, Junior Katie Meili has earned her first berth into the NCAA Championships. The five-time 2012 Ivy League champion posted qualifying times in the 200 IM, the 100 breaststroke, and the 200 breaststroke and will head to the James E. Martin Aquatics Center in Auburn, Ala., from Thursday, March 15 - Saturday, March 17 for the 2012 NCAA Women's Swimming and Diving Championships.
The 2012 Ivy League's most outstanding swimmer will carry great momentum into the NCAA Championships following her record setting performances at Harvard's Blodgett Pool in Cambridge, Mass. Meili won a record three championships in the first day of the Ivy League championships meet for Columbia. Her first came with her teammates in the 200 freestyle relay, who finished with a school record time of 1:32.59.
Behind setting a school, pool, and Ivy League record time of 1:57.38 in the 200 IM, Meili earned her first individual title of the day. She broke the previous record time of 1:57.63 held by former Columbia swimmer Cristina Teuscher since 1999. She followed her victory with another team title in the 400 medley relay. With a winning time of 3:40.87, that team became the first in program history to capture the title in the event.
In day two Meili returned to set another school, pool, and Ivy League record in the 100 breaststroke with a NCAA qualifying time of 59.64. She became the first woman in Ivy League history to break the one-minute mark in the event. The victory gave Columbia its first championship win in the 100 breaststroke and gave Meili her second individual title of the meet. Her time sits eighth in the country heading into the NCAA championships.
Her final victory in the meet came in the 200 breaststroke, hitting the wall at 2:10.40. Her dominating performance marked the first time in over a decade a Columbia swimmer has won the event.
"What's so incredible about her swimming is that many of the other people on the board with pool record at Harvard are Olympic Gold Medalists and World Record Holders, " said Michael Sabala, Columbia Women's Swimming Assistant Coach. "Her performances are very special."
Follow results of each session HERE!
First-year standout Salena Huang and Meili were both interviewed recently for the USA Swimming Trials and Tribulations Series. Click the link above to read the full interview.
The 2012 NCAA Women's Swimming and Diving Championships will stream, free of charge, the preliminary sessions and the finals on Thursday night (the direct links can be found below). ESPN will stream the Friday and Saturday finals on WatchESPN.com.