AUBURN, Ala. - If Katie Meili's performance on Thursday, March 15 is any indication, this will be a great weekend for the junior. The 2012 Ivy League Most Outstanding Swimmer of the Meet improved on her seed and earned her first career NCAA Top 16 finish during the 200 IM preliminaries during Thursday's first session of the NCAA Championships, in Auburn, Ala.
Meili swam a personal best and a qualifying 'B-final' time of 1:57.08. She finished in 13th place capturing an All-America Honorable Mention, becoming the first Lion to score since Cristina Teuscher in 2000. Her time of 1:57.08 was a new Columbia mark, breaking her own record of 1:57.38 set in the 2011 Ivy League Championships.
She returned in the 'B-final' to swim a personal best 1:56.73, to yet again set a program best, breaking her own record set in the preliminaries. The time earned her a second place finish in the heat and a tenth place finish overall in the 200 IM.
She is coming off a stellar weekend at the USA Swimming Grand Prix in Columbus, Ohio on Friday, March 9-12. Meili swam personal bests in the 100 breast, 50 free and 200 IM prelims and finals. She qualified for the US Olympic Team Trials in those events with a time of 1:09.69 in the 100 breast, 26.30 in the 50 free, and 2:18.26 in the 200 IM.
She finished third in the 100-Meter breaststroke placing her in the top 20 nationally going into trials and giving her a top 30 world ranking. The two athletes that hit the wall before Meili are both ranked top four in the country and top 15 in the world.
Meili returns to action on Friday, March 16 to compete in one of her best events, the 100 breast. The preliminaries begin at 11 a.m. followed by the championship finals at 7 p.m. Follow the action with live results HERE!