Today, women’s swimming and diving officially kicks off its season with an Ivy opener at Yale. It will also be the official debut for this year’s recruiting class, a new wave of talent featuring strong freshmen swimmers like Christina Ray, Lily Morris, and Ritty Zhai, among others. According to coach Diana Caskey, a recent scrimmage with Stevens revealed the class’s mettle: “A couple of the first years really stepped up and showed they were racers, and that’s exciting ’cause that’s something you don’t necessarily see every day in practice ... some first years are really going to shine.” They’ll have the opportunity to step up again against Yale, in what promises to be a tight contest. Last year, Columbia beat the Bulldogs in both their opening dual meet and the conference dual meet standings, but was narrowly edged out at the Ivy League Championship for third place. This year, the Yale squad returns with veterans like Alex Forrester, a versatile sprinter who took the Ivy League title in the 100-yard butterfly, and a bevy of new talent in its recruiting class. The squad has also undergone a coaching change: Jim Henry, formerly an assistant head coach of the men’s team at University of Texas, now heads the Bulldogs.
Four seniors reflect on their time at Columbia, and what it means to be leaving these years—and NYC—behind.