WESTFIELD, Mass. - Senior Hillary Wong (Quincy, Mass.) scored 18 points to lead the Simmons College swimming & diving team over Westfield State University this afternoon in Westfield, Mass. to open the season. The Sharks improve to 1-0 on the season.
Wong won the 200 freestyle by seven seconds with a time of 2:10.70 to go with a victory in the 100 free as well, hitting the wall at 1:00.13. She qualified for the New England championship meet with both times and also anchored Simmons' 200 free B-relay team to a second place showing, finishing a fingertip ahead of Westfield to give the visitors the top two times in the event. She was joined by sophomore Jordan Mattheisen (Seattle, Wash.), first years Baylee Carroll (Massena, N.Y.) and Emily Papp (Newtown, Conn.) to turn in a time of 1:51.53. The Sharks' A-relay team, comprised of senior Joleigh Ferro (Pittsfield, Mass.), sophomores Julie Nguyen (Salem, Mass.) and Sarah Price (New York, N.Y.) and first year Natalie Giraldi (Beford, N.H.) clocked in at 1:47.76 to win the event.
Sophomores Shylee Stewart (Eastham, Mass.) and Miriam Swisher (Albuquerque, N.M.) each tallied 18 points as well for Simmons. Swisher won the 50 free with a time of 25.81 and took the 100 backstroke in 1:02.29, while Stewart finished ahead of all swimmers in the 100 breaststroke with a time of 1:12.99 and touched the wall first just one event later with a time of 29.43 in the 50 butterfly. The pair were also part of the top-finishing and school-record breaking 200-medley relay squad along with first year Michaela Morris (Duxbury, Mass.), who swam a lifetime best split in the 50 fly, and senior Chloe Davis (Merrimack, N.H.) with a time of 1:55.31.
Morris also finished with a time of 1:03.85 to win her first collegiate race in the 100 fly and came from behind to finish second to Swisher in the 100 back with a mark of 1:07.68 to finish the day with 13 points. Nguyen also totaled 13 points for the Sharks, winning the 500 free in 5:59.21 and showed her versatility by placing second in the 50 free with a time of 27.34.
Simmons finished in the top three spots in the 1000 free with junior Kevyn Lee (New York, N.Y.) leading the way with a time of 12:04.63, before sophomore Emilie Lindholm (Sterling, Mass.) and junior Rachel Chenard (Saco, Maine) finished within two seconds of each other with respective times of 12:42.26 and 12:44.74.
Giraldi won her first collegiate race with a time of 33.48 in the 50 breaststroke, while sophomore Hannah Plourde (Westfield, Mass.) dominated the 200 individual medley, winning by eight seconds on a time of 2:28.40. Junior Alexandra Vutech (Woodstock, Vt.) swam a personal-best 2:17.27 to finish second in the 200 free. She also finished third in the 100 breaststroke with a mark 1:18.43 to finish just four-tenths of a second behind Price.
The Sharks will be in action again when they host Gordon College and Elms College at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, November 1 in their home opener at the Holmes Sports Center Natatorium.