WINTHROP, Mass. – Simmons College's Shylee Stewart (Eastham, Mass.) was named the Great Northeast Athletic Conference Women's Swimming & Diving Athlete of the Week for the week of January 19-25, it was announced today by the league. The honor marks the second time this season that she has earned the award. She was previously named the conference's top swimming athlete for the week of January 5-11.
The accolade marks the eighth 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 five times for the weeks of October 27 to November 2, November 3-9, November 10-16, December 1-7 and January 12-18.
Stewart dominated in the Sharks' only meet of the week, winning all three individual events that she entered as well as a relay race for Simmons on January 25 in its 203-67 victory over visiting Western New England University. The sophomore won both the 50 and 100-yard breaststroke events, clocking a 32.90 in the 50, while winning the 100 with a mark of 1:10.90. The Nauset Regional High School product capped her day by touching the wall first in the 100-yard individual medley with a personal-record time of 1:05.98. Stewart began the meet by swimming the breaststroke leg of the 200-medley relay to help Simmons post a winning time of 1:57.74.
Stewart was sidelined for more than two months of competition this season with an injury, before returning to the pool on January 10 at Mount Holyoke College. For the season, the second-year swimmer has won 12 of 14 individual events, including seven different events. She's won all four of her entries in the 100-freestyle and has also placed first in the 50-free, 50-backstroke, 50-breaststroke, 100-breaststroke, 50-butterfly and 100-individual medley events.
A Nursing major, Stewart 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 31 of 44 races she's entered during her career, including the 50 and 100-breaststroke at the GNAC Championships in 2013.
Simmons has currently won five straight dual meets and owns a 10-2 record to tie the school mark for most victories in a season. The team 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 return to the pool on Saturday, January 31 when they host Plymouth State University at the Holmes Sports Center Natatorium for a 1:00 p.m. start.