Katie Meili off to a great start at NCAAs

Katie Meili lowered her own Columbia team and Ivy League record in the 200 IM with a 1:54.72 in the finals at the 2013 NCAA Women’s Swimming and Diving Championship. Her 7th place finish was part of a back and forth heat of the 200 IM, (as reported by Braden Keith).

Video by Garrett McCaffrey

Just as Georgia had their day in the 500 free, the Cal Golden Bears fought back to show that they’re still the defending champions until they’re beaten. Caitlin Leverenz jumped way up from prelims and won the NCAA title with a 1:53.39, followed by her freshman teammate Liz Pelton in 1:53.82.

Leverenz once again won this race on the breaststroke, but it wasn’t how she’s done it in past years. Her split on that third 50 was 32.11 – almost exactly a second slower than she was at this meet last year. The result was a pace far off of her NCAA record pace from last year of 1:51.77.

Stanford’s Maya DiRado went out very hard in this race; under American Record pace at the halfway mark in fact. Her breaststroke seed was only 6th-best, though, and she couldn’t muster up enough energy to hold off Pelton at the touch. She was 3rd in 1:53.86. In three attempts at this race for the junior, she’s been on the podium three times (2nd in 2011, 3rd last season).

USC’s Stina Gardell was 4th in 1:54.49, and Florida’s Elizabeth Beisel 5th in 1:54.65. Beisel continues to have a hard time on day 1 of these NCAA Championship meets, though this is still markedly better luck than she had as a freshman and a sophomore.

Just as Cal moved up, Georgia took some spots too, with Melanie Marglis touching 6th in 1:54.71 (she was the last swimmer into the A-Final this morning.)

Columbia’s Katie Meili was 7th in 1:54.72, which rebroke her own Ivy League Record.

Notre Dame sophomore Emma Reaney won the B-Final for the 2nd-straight season, this time with a 1:55.06 – faster than she was last year. Her focus as a junior and senior will have to be getting those times going in the morning. North Carolina’s Cari Blalock was 10th overall in 1:55.86 – which was another second off of her previous best coming into the meet. She dropped a total of three seconds in the two rounds of this race combined.

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bobo gigi
7 years ago

Wow! Great race for her! I didn’t even know her.

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No one lives the sport of swimming like Garrett McCaffrey. A Division I swimmer who spent 4 years covering the sport as a journalist, now coaches club swimming and competes as a masters swimmer, Garrett truly lives the sport of swimming. After graduating from University of Missouri’s award winning journalism program …

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