WINTHROP, Mass. – Simmons College swimmer Miriam Swisher (Albuquerque, N.M.) was named the Great Northeast Athletic Conference Women's Swimming & Diving Athlete of the Week for the week of January 26-Februray 1, it was announced today by the league.
The award marks the ninth straight reporting period that the Sharks have earned the honor and a conference-high sixth time that Swisher has received the award. Senior Hillary Wong (Quincy, Mass.) was named for the week of October 20-26, while Swisher was tabbed for the weeks of October 27 to November 2, November 3-9, November 10-16, December 1-7 and January 12-18. Sophomore Shylee Stewart (Eastham, Mass.) has been named twice, for the weeks of January 5-11 and January 19-25.
Swisher's accolade comes during a unique situation for Simmons. The Sharks were scheduled to compete against visiting Plymouth State University on January 31, but due to a transportation issue, the Panthers were unable to travel to the contest. As a result, Simmons took advantage of the officials in attendance to conduct time trials, where all times would be considered official and serve as regional and national qualifying marks, if standards were met. Swisher made the most of the afternoon by posting the top time in a pair of events, while helping the Sharks' 200-yard medley and 400-yard freestyle relays teams record the best times of their respective races as well. The La Cueva High School product shattered the Holmes Sports Center Natatorium record for the 500-freestyle by exactly six seconds with a time of 5:22.63. Swisher also turned in a mark of 29.23 in the 50-butterfly. The sophomore swam the lead leg in the 200-medley relay to combine for a time of 1:57.08 to open the trials and closed the meet by swimming the anchor leg of the 400-free relay to secure a time of 3:45.67.
Swisher has been dominant this season, winning 30 of 32 individual events that she has entered, including all eight 50-yard freestyle races she's competed in. The Physical Therapy major was the top scorer for the Sharks at the GNAC Championship on December 6-7 with 36 points after winning all four events that she entered, while setting three GNAC and two pool records. The sophomore won the 50-yard freestyle (24.40), 200-freestyle with a GNAC record (1:57.57) and set GNAC, pool and school records in the 50-backstroke (27.36) and the 100-freestyle (51.75), while also making the NCAA qualifier 'B' cut. In addition, she was also a part of Simmons' 400-medley relay team that set a GNAC record with a time of 4:10.25 and helped the Sharks win the 200-free relay as well with a mark of 1:42.64.
The second-year swimmer has been exceptional throughout her career at Simmons, winning 56 of 68 individual events, including 12 of 13 50-yard backstroke races and 21 of 23 50-yard freestyle events. Swisher also owns five individual school records and has been part of five team relay marks, while owning four conference standards and four Holmes Sports Center Natatorium records.
The Sharks closed out their dual-meet results this season by winning five straight for a 10-2 record to tie the school standard for victories in a campaign. They return to action on Friday, February 13 when they travel to Kingston, R.I. to vie for the New England Intercollegiate Swimming and Diving Association Championship, hosted by University of Rhode Island.