The women’s swimming and diving team will be compete in the annual Ivy League Championships today through Saturday, Feb. 26, at Princeton. During the three days of competition, there will be preliminary events starting at 11 a.m., with those who qualify moving on to the championship final sessions each day.
During the regular season, the Lions were 3-4 in the Ancient Eight, finishing behind Yale, Harvard, Penn, and Princeton. No matter what the standings in the league are before the tournament, though, if Columbia performs well at Ivies, it can come out on top of the league—and head coach Diana Caskey thinks her team is ready to compete.
“We are very excited to race at Ivies. It is the only time of the season that we rest, shave, and taper, and find where all the hard training during our season takes us,” Caskey said. “We are poised to swim very fast and have a lot of enthusiasm and confidence heading into this meet.”
At last year’s competition, undefeated Princeton held on to finish as the Ivy League champions with 1465 points, outscoring runner-up Harvard by only 27. Yale came in third with a total score of 1350 points, 115 less than the Tigers. In contrast, the Lions—after a regular reason record of 4-3—came in sixth place with 692.5 points. Princeton will once again enter the championships as the team to beat, having achieved another 7-0 record this season. The results are anything but predetermined, though, and the upcoming days should feature another exciting and close competition between the eight teams.
Returning to compete this year for the Light Blue is senior Mariele Dunn, who last year placed 10th overall in the 200 IM and second in the 200 breaststroke with a time of 2:14.13. In the sa
me event, sophomore Katie Meili placed fourth for the Lions with 2:15.33. Meili also finished second in the 100 breaststroke in last year’s competition and fifth overall in the 50 freestyle, and is expected to be a strong competitor again this year. Other notable swimmers include juniors Isabelle Vandenbroucke—who took 11th in the 400 individual medley—and Paige Endsley, who placed 11th in the 200 freestyle and 14th in the 500 freestyle.
This will be the last meet of the season for the team as a whole, but individuals whose times qualify will move on to represent their school in the NCAA Championships or NCAA Diving Zone. The Ivy League Championships begin today at 11 a.m. at DeNunzio Pool in Princeton, N.J.