#Katie Meili
PeopleHop: Two Lady Lion Swimmers are NCAA-Bound!
Star swimmers/soul sisters

Star swimmers/soul sisters

For the second year in a row, Katie Meili CC ’13 is heading to the NCAA Championships after a stellar performance at Ivies, which this year included three individual titles, two Ivy League records, the Swimmer of the Meet title (for the second straight year), and the Career High Point Swimmer title. Her blistering times earned her NCAA bids in all three of her individual events: the 100 breaststroke, 200 breaststroke, and 200 IM. Unlike last year when Katie went stag, she will be joined in Indianapolis next week by teammate and like totes BFF, Alena Kluge CC ’14, who dropped jaws at Ivies when she shaved nearly 7 seconds off her seed time to claim the Ivy League title in the 400 IM and earn a bid to the NCAA’s. It will be Alena’s debut NCAA Championship appearance and the first time in Women’s Swimming & Diving program history that two swimmers will represent the Lions at the meet. Before Alena and Katie’s big meet, Bwog caught up with the duo to learn the secrets to their success at Ivies, their expectations for NCAA’s, and how they get into those insanely tight suits. 

 

Bwog: Describe the process of preparing for a championship meet like Ivies or NCAA’s. Are there any extraordinary or bizarre measures you go to in order to shave even a fraction of a second off your time?

Katie: As far as preparing for the meets, we swim at a pretty intense level all year long and then right before the meets, we start to do what we call “tapering.” We rest a lot and don’t swim for as long or as hard, and we lift a lot less. You kind of just rest your muscles for the meet so you’re as strong as you could possibly be.

Alena: We also don’t shave our legs and then we’ll shave them the night before.

Katie: We’ll go a few months without shaving, so it’s pretty disgusting – that’s why we always wear pants.

Alena: Yeah, we just try to take care of ourselves and people get hypersensitive about taking care of themselves the week before the meets. We also get our nails done to get a little extra. We take elevators everywhere – like we literally don’t go up stairs. I took the elevator to Ferris. Yes, one floor.

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Bwog Sports Sunday: Hand Out the Hardware
Katie Meili CC'13 made Ivies her bitch

Katie Meili CC’13 made Ivies her bitch

The Lions racked up some serious hardware this week as the winter season comes to a close. Breaststroker and overall swimming machine Katie Meili walked away from the Women’s Swimming and Diving Ivy League Championships this weekend with three individual titles, three pool records, three school records, two Ivy League records, the Swimmer of the Meet title for the second straight year, and the Career High Point Swimmer title. In her best race, the 100 breaststroke, Meili broke her own Ivy League record in prelims and then broke it again that night in finals, with her closest adversary almost two body lengths back. Another outstanding performance came from junior Alena Kluge, who dropped seven seconds off her personal best time in the 400 IM to claim the Ivy League title in the event, before going on to break the school record in the 200 backstroke the next day. The Lions finished the weekend third overall with the highest point total in school history, and the Lady Lions weren’t the only ones cleaning up at Ivy League Championships this weekend. Both Men’s and Women’s Fencing finished 2nd overall this weekend at the Ivy League Championships and now have their sights set on NCAA Northeast Regionals.

Outside of the championship competitions, the accolades kept coming in for Columbia’s standout athletes. Baseballinsider.com has some nice things to say about the Baseball team before they opened their season this weekend, calling senior Nick Ferraresi the Ivy League’s “most underrated hitter.” Ferraresi is also a candidate for the Senior CLASS award, given to an NCAA Division I baseball player who has an affinity for c-words like community, classroom, character, and competition. Junior sprinter Marvellous Iheukwumere led the way in Track & Field All-Ivy selections with two first-team nods in the 200m dash and 600m dash. Nine other Track & Field athletes also made All-Ivy selections. In other T&F news, Mark Feigen broke the 3000m school record on Saturday, coming in at 8:04, and Trina Bills took down the 800m school record with her time of 2:07.59. In Wrestling, seniors Steve Santos and Steve West shared a name and a place on first-team All-Ivy League, joined by two other Lions wrestlers who received second-team honors. Women’s Basketball beat Brown for the second time this season, with a little help from Tyler Simpson, who posted 26 points. Men’s Basketball took down Yale on Saturday before a heartbreaking buzzer beater loss to Brown on Saturday in the final home game of the season. Lacrosse also had a heartbreaking weekend, falling in double overtime to Brown in their Ivy League opener. The Lions were on their way up and making history in the rankings this week. Women’s Tennis broke into the top 50 in the ITA rankings for the first time in program history after taking down ranked opponents like No. 42 Kansas State, while the Men’s Tennis team cruised to a No. 33 national ranking after crushing Binghamton last weekend.

All the results from the week after the jump!

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Meili to Rep Lions at NCAA’s

Katie Meili CC'13 accepts her Ivy League title in the 100 yard breaststroke

Katie Meili, CC’13, has had one of the most impressive seasons in Women’s Swimming & Diving program history, culminating with a record-shattering swim in the 100 yard breaststroke at the 2012 Ivy League Championship. The Texas native captured four other Ivy League titles that weekend and was unanimously named Most Outstanding Swimmer of the Meet. She will represent the Lions at the NCAA National Championships, which will take place in Auburn, Alabama, March 16-19. Bwog had a chance to sit down with Meili to discuss her success this season, her future in the sport of swimming, and the truth about swimmers peeing in the pool.

Bwog: Congrats on being named Most Outstanding Swimmer of the Meet at the 2012 Ivy League Championship and being the only woman in Ivy League history to break one minute in the 100 yard breaststroke! What went through your mind when you looked up at the clock after the 100 breaststroke and saw your time? Did you know immediately that you had just made Ivy League history?

Katie Meili: Thank you! So many emotions went through my head when I looked up at saw my time on the scoreboard after my race. I immediately started jumping up and down in the water and I’m pretty sure I was yelling in excitement. It’s the best feeling in the world when you see that all your hard work has paid off in the best way possible. I knew I had broken the Ivy League record when I saw my time, but the excitement of being the first under a minute didn’t hit me until later that night.

Bwog: It sounds like such an amazing moment. How did you prepare for Ivies? Can you describe “taper” and any other (potentially bizarre) measures you and other swimmers take to get ready for the biggest meets of the season?

Katie: Swimming is an interesting sport in that the dual meet season doesn’t count for team rankings. The outcome of the entire season is decided at the Ivy League Championships.  Therefore, we maintain a high level of training all year long and then start to rest or “taper,” where we slowly decrease yardage and intensity, 2-3 weeks before championships.  I try to eat healthier leading up to a big meet, but, in doing so, crave junk food and probably end up eating worse than I would have if I had not actively tried to be healthy.  The swimsuits we wear at big meets are pretty bizarre.  They are so small and tight that they take about 30 min to put on.  There is a lot of science behind it that I don’t really understand, but the fast suits make a huge difference.

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