Since the inception of the Columbia-Barnard Athletic Consortium, both schools have seen success unlike they ever had in women’s athletics. One of the benchmarks of that success is the greatest swimmer in Barnard history, and one of the all-time best women’s swimmers in the history of the Columbia-Barnard Athletic Consortium, Lucy Eccelston Norvall.


Eccelston Norvall made a name for herself in the 200 butterfly, though she was a key contributor to the Columbia women’s swimming program across the board. In her sophomore season, she won an Ivy League championship title in the 200 fly, earning first-team All-Ivy League honors.  She also qualified for the NCAA Championships in the event, finishing 21st in the nation. In addition to holding two of the top-ten times in Ivy League history in the 200 fly, Eccelston Norvall was a strong swimmer in other disciplines, holding top-five school marks in five different events. 

A Columbia-Barnard Athletic Consortium Silver Anniversary Honor Roll member, Eccleston Norvall remains one of only three Columbia women’s swimmers to qualify for the NCAA championships, and the only Barnard athlete to do so in the sport of swimming.

A team captain, Tina Steck Award winner, and three-time team MVP, Eccelseton Norvall continued her athletics career after her 2003 graduation. She coached her club team in Stockton, Calif., for three years, and has competed in four marathons, including running a Boston Marathon qualifying time.

No stranger to winning ways, she’s also experienced success in her professional life as well. After starting a promising career in finance, Eccelston Norvall found herself unhappy with her everyday work. So she took a risk, and went back to school to pursue a career in teaching. Despite nationwide cuts in education, Eccelston Norvall has been able to thrive in education, as she did in the pool, working consistently, and finding a meaningful career path that has brought her true happiness. She married Brady Norvall in January 2009.