NEW YORK - In the first home meet of the 2012-13 season, the Columbia women's swimming and diving team took an early lead and never relinquished it, downing Bucknell 190.5-108.5, on Saturday at Uris Pool. The Lions captured 12 of the 16 events and set a new Uris Pool record in the 800 freestyle relay to improve to 2-2 overall on the season.
In that event, the quartet of Meili, Smith, Drill, and Huang capped the meet with a bang, combining their legs for a time of 7:29.77 to break the pool record of 7:35.19 set in 1998 by the Columbia squad anchored by Olympic gold-medalist Christina Teuscher.
The first events of the day were the three-meter and one-meter diving contests, where Kristin Hehir helped the Lions post an early lead. Hehir led the 1-2-3 sweep in the three-meter diving event for the Lions with 264.61 points. Katie Furr finished in second place with a total of 242.77 points, followed by Alyssa Menz, who earned 236.41 points. Hehir also placed second in the one-meter diving event by posting 243.82 points and Menz placed fourth with 228.38 points.
The swimming events began with 200 medley relay, and Columbia would capture the top-two finishes. The quartet of Katie Meili, Kristina Parsons, Christina Ray, and Alena Kluge combined for the winning time of 1:46.28. In second place, the squad of Lexi Riggs, Ellie Feely, Caroline Lukins, and Lily Morris posted a time of 1:47.58.
The 1650 freestyle belonged to Aileen Smith, who captured the win with a personal-best time of 16:46.26. Smith hit the wall just a couple of seconds shy of the 21-year old Uris Pool record of 16:44.25. Meili pulled into second at 17:12.90 and Huang placed fourth at 17:27.42.
Sydney Drill grabbed the next win for the Lions with a winning time of 1:52.11 in the 200 freestyle. Kristina Parsons also placed third in the event with a time of 1:56.69. Columbia continued to maintain a lead over the Bison, and the Lions added more points after a sweep in the 200 butterfly, led by first-year Christina Ray. Ray made the final touch in 2:05.34 for the victory, followed by Kluge in second at 2:05.86 and Senko in third at 2:06.94.
The Columbia first-year class continued to have strong performance in their first meet at Uris, with Lily Morris claiming the win in the 50 freestyle at 24.40 and Jennifer Xu posting a triumph in the 100 freestyle at 53.29. Meili led the charge in the 200 backstroke with a victorious time of 2:03.49 to beat teammate Daniela Rueda, who turned in a second place performance in 2:03.66.
Rueda went on to pick up a win in the 500 freestyle with a time of 4:58.77 as the first-years kept their presence felt on the day. First-year Kristine Ng captured a victory in the 200 breaststroke, clocking in at 2:21.21 and Ritty Zhai added a win in the 100 butterfly at 57.79.
Up next, Columbia returns to Ivy League play when travel to Cornell on Saturday, Jan. 19 to face the Big Red at 12 p.m.