Columbia women’s swimming and diving will divide and conquer this weekend at two tournament events—the AT&T Winter National Championships and the ECAC Winter Championships.
The AT&T Winter National Championships are hosted by Ohio State University this year in conjunction with USA Swimming and will feature some of the top names in swimming. Over the course of two days, six of the Lions’ swimmers will compete among Olympic swimmers and members of the National Team.
“It’s a great opportunity to get some real high-level competition,” head coach Diana Caskey said. “It’s good for recruiting because there are some younger people there too, so it’s good to see that we’re competing there.”
The swimmers representing the Light Blue include junior Mary Ashby, junior Jessica Antiles, sophomore Helen Wojdylo, sophomore Julia Samson, first-year Emily Wang, and first-year Jordan Ashmore. Each woman had to meet a minimum time requirement in her individual events to qualify for the meet. Once at the championship, the swimmers will participate in prelims each morning to qualify for finals, which will begin in the early evening.
Ashby will compete in the 50-yard and 100-yard freestyle events, the sole freestyle events for Columbia. Wojdylo will take to the pool for the 100-yard breastroke, while Samson will represent the Lions in the 100-yard backstroke. Finally, both Wang and Ashmore will participate in the 100-yard breastroke.
“We’re looking forward to heading to Princeton next week, and that’s another part of training through this weekend, even with our top five doing a big event like this,” Caskey said. “People did a really good job of still doing some training with the traveling and break, so I feel like this is an opportunity to work and get back in our groove for next week.”
The rest of the team will head to the ECAC Winter Championships, where they will be part of a field of 20 teams. The Lions will be the lone team representing the Ancient Eight.
“I think it’s an opportunity for us to see how strong we really are,” Caskey said. “We’re kind of going to make a training meet out of it where we aren’t letting up on training and we’re doing a workout, then get up and race with what we have left to keep up our competition.”
Columbia’s main events at the AT&T Winter National Championships will be on Friday and Saturday, with prelims at 9 a.m. and finals at 5 p.m. The ECAC Winter Championships take place from Friday to Sunday with prelims at 10 a.m. and finals at 6 p.m.