WINTHROP, Mass. – Simmons College swimmer Shylee Stewart (Eastham, Mass.) was named the Great Northeast Athletic Conference Women's Swimming Athlete of the Week for the week of January 5-11, it was announced today by the league.
The award marks the sixth straight reporting period that the Sharks have earned the honor with senior Hillary Wong (Quincy, Mass.) being named for the week of October 20-26 and sophomore Miriam Swisher (Albuquerque, N.M.) being tabbed four times for the weeks of October 27 to November 2, November 3-9, November 10-16 and December 1-7.
Stewart earns the accolade after posting three first-place finishes in addition to a second-place effort to rack up 31 points. She also helped the Sharks to a victory in the 200-yard free relay as well as the 200-yard medley relay. The sophomore returned to competition on Saturday, January 10 after being sidelined since November 1 with an injury. She came back with gusto by winning both of her individual events at host Mount Holyoke College. Stewart won the 50-yard freestyle in a time of 26.00 and later took home the 100-yard freestyle in 56.45. Stewart led off the 200-free relay for Simmons and set the tone as it placed first among scoring units in the event with a mark of 1:44.15. Seniors Chloe Davis (Merrimack, N.H.) and Joleigh Ferro (Pittsfield, Mass.) along with Swisher joined Stewart for the victory.
A graduate of Nauset Regional High School, she returned to the pool the following day to win the 50-yard backstroke with a mark of 30.01 vs. Saint Joseph's College (Maine) and finished less than two-tenths of a second behind Swisher to place second in the 50-free with a time of 25.72. She swam the lead leg of the 200-medley relay ahead of sophomore Julie Nguyen (Salem, Mass.), Davis and Swisher and helped the quartet post a time of 2:01.65 to win the event for the Sharks.
Stewart has won seven of the eight individual events she has entered this season, including both 100-free events, the 50-free, the 50-backstroke, the 50-breaststroke, the 100-breaststroke and the 50-butterfly.
The second-year swimmer burst onto the collegiate scene last year, earning GNAC Rookie of the Year honors after winning the 100-breaststroke at the New England Intercollegiate Swimming and Diving Association Championships with a school-record time of 1:06.70. The program record is just one of two individual marks that she owns with the other being the 50-breaststroke (31.17). She turned in three top-four finishes at the NEISDA Championships, placing third in the 100-free with a time of 53.39 and fourth in the 50-free with a mark of 24.37 and was part of Simmons' 800-freestyle relay squad that took first place in a school-record time of 7:59.69. She's also had a hand in four other school relay standards, helping the Sharks set the mark in the 200-free relay(1:38.97), the 400-free relay (3:44.26), the 200-medley relay (1:55.31) and the 400-medley relay (4:04.18). She's won 26 of 38 races she's entered during her career, including the 50 and 100-breaststroke at the GNAC Championships in 2013.
Simmons is currently 6-2 on the season and won the GNAC Championship for the 11th straight year on December 7. It was also their 13th crown in the last 14 years. The Sharks will swim again on Tuesday, January 13 when they travel to North Dartmouth, Mass. to take on University of Massachusetts Dartmouth at 6:00 p.m.