The Columbia women’s swimming and diving squad competed twice this weekend, dropping a dual meet with Harvard on Friday and managing a respectable fourth place at an invitational on Saturday and Sunday. Harvard, last year’s Ivy League champion, turned on the heat in its own pool, winning 187-113 and bringing the Lions’ dual meet record to 0-2. A mix of talented rookies and seasoned veterans helped the Crimson take both first and second in eight events, dealing a devastating blow to the competition. But Columbia divers Alyssa Menz, Kathleen Furr, and Kristin Hehir swept the one-meter category, and senior co-captain Katie Meili was a triple winner, winning the 100 breast, 100 free, and 200 IM with impressive times. Meili’s streak carried over the next two days into the Rutgers pool, where she again won the 100 breast, the 200 breast, and the 400 IM, all in NCAA B-cut times. Versatile junior teammate Laney Kluge was also a big point winner, taking first in the 200 back, second in the 400 IM, and fifth in the 200 breast. Throughout, Lions flooded the finals heats, comprising four of the top eight finishers in the 200 back and 100 fly. These successes helped the squad earn valuable points that would catapult it past teams that had an extra day of competition to score, and they ultimately claimed fourth place overall. Now, the Lions are out of action for a few weeks. Qualifying members will travel to Austin for the USA Winter Nationals, hosted by the University of Texas, in two weeks.
Four seniors reflect on their time at Columbia, and what it means to be leaving these years—and NYC—behind.