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Bwog Sports Sunday: We Are the Champions


Columbia athletes deserve this!

As the winter season comes to a close, a number of Lions have found themselves singing along to the 1977 Queen hit. Just today, the Women’s Track & Field team won the 2012 Ivy League Heptagonal Indoor Championship for the first time in school history, after coming in second for the last two years. In the pool, junior Katie Meili was named Most Outstanding Swimmer of the Meet at the 2012 Ivy League Championship for her record-breaking performance over the weekend, including five titles, four school records, and an all-time Ivy League record in the 100 yard breaststroke. Meili became the first woman in Ivy League history to break one minute in that event. The Women’s Squash team were also crowned champions this weekend after winning the consolation finals of the CSA National Championship. Rock on, Lions!

Columbia Lions Weekly Round-up:

Men’s Basketball (14-14, 3-9 Ivy League):


Yale 67-75 L
Brown 78-94 L

Highlights: After a record-breaking start to the season, the Men’s Basketball team has dropped its last five games and fallen to sixth in the Ivy League. On Friday, the Lions faced Yale for the second time this season, having lost by just one point two weeks ago. In the first half, the Bulldogs stunned the Lions with an early 15-0 run to put them up 20-5 with 11 minutes remaining in the half. After the slow start, sophomore guard Meiko Lyles led the Lions to an 11-2 run to cut the deficit to five, but Yale responded to enter the break up by eight, 30-22. In the second half, the turning point for the Lions came after a technical foul was called on Yale’s Greg Mangano. Junior guard Brian Barbour hit both free throws, which Chris Crockett followed up with a three-pointer to cut Yale’s lead to four, 47-43. Columbia then scored six of the next nine points to come within one, 50-49. With just over six minutes to play, freshman center Cory Ostenkowski subbed in for Mark Cisco and hit a jumper to tie the game at 56, and then found the basket again a minute later to level the game at 58. The game remained close until the final minute, but Lions never took the lead against Yale on Friday. Barbour led the Lions with 21 points and eight assists.

After crushing Brown 86-60 two weeks ago, the Lions faced the Bears again in their final road game of the season. The Bears were on fire from behind the arc from the start of the game, hitting 10 three-pointers in the first half to put them up by 17 going into the break, 43-26. In the second half, the Lions cut the lead to 11 twice, but that was the closest they would come.  Brown’s Sean McGonagill was unstoppable on Saturday, leading both teams with 28 points. The Bears hit 14 three-pointers in game, outscoring the Lions 94-78 in their home gym. Barbour finished with his first career double-double with 18 points and 10 assists, making him the first Columbia player to record double-digit assists in a game since Maurice Murphy had 14 against Lafayette on January 3, 2003.
Up Next: The Lions close out the season next weekend against Harvard on Friday and Dartmouth on Saturday. Both game will be at 7 p.m. in Levien Gymnasium.

Women’s Basketball (3-22, 1-10 Ivy League):


Yale 56-52 W

Brown 63-75 L

Highlights: In their final two home games of the season, the Women’s Basketball team notched their first Ivy League win of the season against Yale and honored their two graduating seniors. Against Yale on Friday, the Lions watched the Bulldogs score seven unanswered points, but junior Tyler Simpson responded with 7-0 run of her own to tie the game at 7-7. The Lions enjoyed their widest lead of the game with just under a minute left in the half, 28-22. In the second half, the game remained close as the two teams exchanged leads several times with 11 ties in the game. With 7 minutes left on the clock, sophomore Courtney Bradford hit a jumper to tie the game at 46. After being fouled less than a minute later, Bradford sunk both free throws to put the Lions up by two. Though Yale continued their offensive pressure, the Lions were able to close out the game with last minute points from Simpson and Taylor Ward, 56-52. The victory snapped an 11-game losing streak for the Lions and upset second-place Yale.

On Saturday, the Lions faced Brown in their final home game of the season. Columbia rode the momentum of Friday’s win, trading leads with the Bears with neither team leading by more than five in the first half. To end the half, Brown’s Lindsay Nickel hit a three-pointer to put the Bears up by two going into the break, 26-24. Brown came out strong in the second half, opening scoring with six unanswered points. With 14 minutes remaining, the Lions were down by 10, and they were unable to make up the difference in the final minutes of the half. With the loss, the Lions drop to 1-10 in the Ivy League and 3-22 overall.

Up Next: The Lions take on Harvard and Dartmouth next weekend on the road.

Women’s Swimming & Diving (8-1, 6-1 Ivy League):


The Lions finish 4th at Ivy League Championships

Highlights: During three days of competition this weekend at the 2012 Ivy League Championship, the Lions placed 4th overall with 1,087 points, just 18 points behind Yale in third to finish one of the most successful seasons in program history. On day one, the Lions captured three Ivy League titles in the 200 freestyle relay, 200 individual medley, and the 400 medley relay. In the 200 free relay, the team of junior Katie Meili, freshman Mikaila Gaffey, freshman Selena Huang, and sophomore Laney Kluge broke the Columbia record with an Ivy League-winning time of 1:32.58. Meili had more success in the pool later in the day, notching an individual win in the 200 IM with a time of 1:57.38, beating the school, meet and Ivy League record, and helping teammates Huang, Dorothy Baker, and Kristina Parsons to an Ivy League title in the 400 medley relay. On day two, Meili continued her dominance in the Championship, making history by being the first woman in the Ivy League to break one minute in the 100 yard breaststroke. Her time of 59.64 set a new pool, school, championship meet, and all-time Ivy League record, and automatically qualifies her for NCAA competition. Meili didn’t let up on day three, winning the 200 yard breaststroke with an NCAA ‘B’ cut time of 2:10.40. With three individual titles and five overall, including multiple record-breaking times, Meili was unanimously named Most Outstanding Swimmer of the Meet.

Up Next: Meili will compete as an individual representing the Lions at the NCAA National Championships, which will take place in Auburn, Ala., March 16-19.

Women’s Track & Field:


The Lions bring home the first Ivy League Heptagonal Indoor Championship in school history.

Highlights: The Lions scored 124 points in two days of competition to take first place overall at the Ivy League Heptagonal Indoor Championship at Cornell this weekend. On day one, the Lions led the competition with 34 points after Uju Ofoche won the long jump for the second straight season and the Lions advanced athletes to all 12 finals events on Sunday. On day two, the Lions continued their dominance and winners included Monique Roberts in the high Jump, Nadia Eke in the triple jump, Marvellous Iheukwumere in the 200m, and Waverly Neer in the 3,000m. Congratulations to the Lions for making school history!

Men’s Tennis (7-2):


Fairleigh Dickinson 6-1 W
Army 7-0 W

Highlights: After two tough matches last weekend, the Lions bounced back to dominate both of their contests this weekend. On Friday against Fairleigh Dickinson, the Lions swept all three doubles matches, including freshman Ashok Narayana and Max Schnur’s 8-1 victory in No. 1 doubles. In singles, the Lions dropped only one match, and crushed their opponents in all other matches. The Lions found similar success on Saturday, sweeping Army at West Point, 7-0. Columbia once again won all doubles matches, and similarly shut out Army in singles. Bert Vancura won with ease, 6-0, 6-1, in No. 3 singles and Tizian Bucher won by the same score in No. 5 singles.

Up Next:The Lions have only friendly competitions until they travel to Texas over spring break to take on Texas Christian, Southern Methodist Dallas, University of Texas – Arlington, and Sacramento State.

Women’s Squash (5-9, 0-6 Ivy League):


2012 Women’s CSA National Championship
Williams 1-8 L
Franklin & Marshall (Consolation Semi-Finals) 8-1 W
Mt. Holyoke (Consolation Finals) 6-3 W

Highlights: The Lions finished only their second season as a varsity program with a win over Mt. Holyoke to take the Consolation Finals in the 2012 Women’s CSA National Championship. The win boosted the Lions up three spots in the national rankings, from 16th to 13th.

Unrelated trophy via Wikimedia Commons.

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