Columbia Women Gets 2 East Bay Verbals: Aileen Lee and Mary Ashby

The Columbia Lions received verbal commitments from Aileen Lee and Mary Ashby for the class of 2019.*

Aileen Lee is a breaststroke/IM specialist from San Ramon, California. She attends California High School in San Ramon, and trains with Walnut Creek Aquabears. She placed sixth in the 100 breast and 11th in the 200 IM at the 2014 CIF-North Coast Section Championships. Lee’s top times over the last two seasons have been:

100y breast: 1:02.39
200y breast: 2:15.67
200y IM: 2:08.22
400y IM: 4:34.14

Lee fits nicely into the Columbia mold; the Lions have done a good job developing breast/IMers and have dominated those events at Ivy League championships over the last several years with Katie Meili and Alena Kluge. Their graduations have left a hole in the Columbia lineup that Lee will help to fill.


Mary Ashby excels in sprint free and backstroke with Orinda Aquatics and Campolindo High School in Moraga. Ashby placed fourth in the 50 and third in the 100 free at 2014 CIF-North Coast Section Championships, and her top times over the last two seasons are:

50y free: 23.28
100y free: 50.65
200y free: 1:50.49
100y back: 55.54

Ashby’s times would have placed her in B-finals of the 50/100/200 free and 100 back at 2014 Ivy League Championships. Columbia did not field one “A” finalist in any of those freestyles; a few more points in each of the events would have been a boost to the Lions’ team score.



*DISCLAIMER: Neither Lee nor Ashby has been officially accepted to Columbia. As is true with all Ivy League schools, Columbia’s Admission Office will not send its acceptance letter until the beginning of December, along with those of all Early Decision candidates. The procedure for recruited athletes like Lee and Ashby is for Admissions to review their transcript and SAT scores, “support (their) application for admissions in the fall,” issue Likely Letters, then offer them acceptance into the class of 2019.

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About Anne Lepesant

Anne Lepesant

Anne Lepesant is the mother of four daughters, all of whom swim/swam in college. With an undergraduate degree from Princeton (where she was an all-Ivy tennis player) and an MBA from INSEAD, she worked for many years in the financial industry, both in France and the U.S. Anne is currently …

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