Piscataway, N.J. - In only competing for just two days of the three day 2013 Frank Elm Invite, the Columbia women’s swimming team put on a commanding performance in final day to come away with the victory at Werblin Recreation Center on Sunday, Nov. 24. The Lions returned after a dominating show in day two on Saturday, to defeat the eight-team field.
With 1378.5 points, Columbia bested second place host Rutgers with 1321.5 points and Army came in third place with 1312.5. The Lions moved up from starting the day in third place to take the meet in the end.
Salena Huang began the day for Columbia with a runner-up finish in the 200 backstroke. The junior posted ‘A’ finals qualifying time of 2:01.53, just .19 seconds off the lead.
Mikaila Gaffey continued to build on her solid performances from yesterday in the morning 100 freestyle, taking the event with a time of 51.39. First-year Celia Frick added a seventh-place finish in the event with a time of 52.53. Frick returned in the 200 breast to grab a second-place finish at 2:19.81. Kristine Ng also posted a top-five time in the event at 2:20.22 to move on to the ‘A’ finals.
The Lions biggest impact in the morning prelims was in the 200 butterfly. Columbia saw three swimmers earn spots in the ‘A’ finals with first-year Trudi Patrick leading the way with a first-place time of 2:03.07. Ng was less than a second behind as the runner-up at 2:04.01 and senior Alena Kluge touched in at fourth place with a time of 2:04.61.
Columbia sparked the finals sessions with winning performance in the 1650 free by Daniela Rueda. The sophomore clocked in with a first-place time of 16:55.44 to take the opening event. Teammate Mallory Mckeon went on to place third with a time of 17:03.09, Kluge placed fifth at 17:08.60 and Tiffany Warmuth came in seventh place at 17:11.28 to give the Lions three swimmers in the top eight.
Salena Huang tallied points with a third place finish in the championship finals of the 200 back with a time of 2:01.29. Lily Morris added a ‘B’ finals victory in the event with a time of 2:05.76. and Kluge also pulled in a ‘B’ finals win in the 100 free with a time of 52.28.
The Lion’s made their first move to top the leaderboard in the ‘A’ finals of the 200 breaststroke behind a pair of top five finishers. Ng hit the wall in a runner-up time of 2:17.75 and Frick came in fifth place at 2:19.62.
Ng led the biggest charge of the night with her victory in the 200 fly. The sophomore led the way with a time of 2:02.37, just beating teammate and prelims winner Patrick at 2:02.71. Kluge also came in sixth place with a time of 2:05.80.
Columbia capped the weekend meet with a third-place finish in the 400 free relay. The quartet of Warmuth, Huang, Frick and Ray combined for a time of 3:31.55 to give the Lions to stamp its first invitational win of the season.
Up next, the Lions will put their efforts to the test at the 2013 AT8T U.S. Winter National Championship in Knoxville, Tenn. on Thursday Dec. 5 – Saturday, Dec. 7.