Updated Feb. 24 at 9:15 p.m.
Despite an undefeated regular season, the women’s swimming team could not compete with the depth of Harvard, Princeton and Yale, finishing fourth in the Ivy Championships.
The top three teams opened a sizeable lead over the Lions on the first day of the three-day meet, and the Lions were unable to make up ground. The Lions finished with 945 points, behind Harvard’s 1409, Princeton’s 1384 and Yale’s 1163.5.
The Crimson, Tigers, and Bulldogs were able to maintain their lead over the Light Blue by accumulating points from several swimmers in many events. The Lions, meanwhile, generally had to rely on their main team or swimmer in each event.
“We don’t necessarily have the same depth in the last five swimmers that a team like Harvard does,” Sabala said.
“At the same time, Harvard and Princeton have six or nine divers, while we have two.”
Though the Lions couldn’t secure a top finish, several individual swimmers had a successful weekend at the championships.
Senior captain Alena Kluge began the tournament by swimming the fastest time in the league in the 200-yard individual medley before beating her own record and winning the event in the finals. Kluge’s pool record and NCAA B cut time of 1:58.74 was also the only finish time under two minutes.
“It was a tough race, but she was dominant. It was exciting for Columbia and for her to get that win,” Sabala said.
Kluge recorded another NCAA B cut time the next day at the 400 IM prelims, but finished third in the finals behind Yale's Emma Smith, who set the pool record.
Junior Mikaila Gaffey was the only other Lion to win an Ivy League title this weekend, swimming a career best 1:01.58 in the 100-yard breaststroke for an NCAA B cut time and the pool record. First-year Jennifer Shahar finished less than a second later in the event for a third-place finish.
“We had 30 lifetime best times in 51 events, so that was really solid,” Sabala said. “We’re swimming more lifetime best times than Harvard and Princeton or other teams, but it fell a little bit short.”
Other Lions who qualified for the NCAA B cut were sophomore Christina Ray and first-year Trudi Patrick in the 100-yard butterfly, finishing third and sixth, respectively. Patrick later reached a B cut time in the 200 fly, winning the consolation round.
Columbia will wrap up its season this weekend at the ECAC Championships.