Piscataway, N.J. – On Saturday, Nov. 23, the Columbia swimming team hit the pool at Rutgers University to compete in the 2013 Frank Elm Invitational. In a field of eight teams, including Army, Wagner, Villanova, West Chester, Saint Peters and host Rutgers, the Lions put together a solid start on its first day of competition.
In the morning preliminaries, a number of impressive performances lifted the Lions into ‘A’ finals competition. Columbia dominated the 400 IM prelims with senior Alena Kluge leading the way in first place with a time of 4:22.20. Kristine Ng was a few seconds behind in second place with a time of 4:25.05 and Celia Frick took third place at 4:27.47. Corinna Bertelsen (sixth – 4:30.69) and Daniela Rueda (eighth – 4:32.23) gave Columbia a total of five swimmers in the finals of the 400 IM.
Christina Ray lead the way in 100 fly prelims with a top time of 56.11, edging teammate Trudi Patrick in second place at 56.22. Michi Aisawa placed fourth with a time of 56.99 and Lily Morris grabbed seventh place in 57.25 to move four Lions to the 100 fly ‘A’ finals.
With a runner-up time of 1:52.19, Tiffany Warmuth secured a spot in the championship final of the 200 free. Salena Huang also swam well in the morning session of the 100 backstroke with a fifth place personal best time of 57.84.
Columbia kicked-off the finals session with a victory in the 200 medley relay. The quartet of Gabbie Toback, Jennifer Shahar, Christina Ray and Mikaila Gaffey combined for a first-place time of 1:44.14.
The Lions backed up their morning performance in the 400 IM with an overpowering swim in the finals. Kluge took the title with her best time of the day at 4:18.54. Ng finished as runner-up at 4:23.08 and Frick completed the sweep in third place at 4:28.62.
The dominance spilled over into the 100 fly with Patrick capturing the win with a time of 55.70. Aisawa (second place) and Ray (third place) both clocked in with a time of 56.36 to round out the top performers.
Warmuth had a big day with a victory in the 200 freestyle, hitting the wall at 1:49.95. She was joined by Gaffey in the event who won the ‘B’ finals with a time of 1:52.61. Gaffey added another consolation victory in the 100 back at 58.31 and Ng went on to take the ‘B’ finals in the 100 breast at 1:07.07.
The Lions will return to the RU Aquatics Center for the final day of competition on Sunday, Nov. 24 with the prelims set to begin at 10:00 a.m., followed by the finals at 5:00 p.m.