BOSTON, Mass. - The Simmons College women's swimming & diving team will send six swimmers to Pittsburgh, Pa. to compete at the 2015 Eastern College Athletic Conference Championships, hosted by the University of Pittsburgh at Trees Pool from February 27 to March 1.
The championship meet is open to all NCAA Division I, II and III schools, who have swimmers or divers that have met qualifying standards. There will be swimmers and divers competing from 34 different schools, including 21 Division I institutions and 13 Division III schools.
The Sharks will be represented by seniors Chloe Davis (Merrimack, N.H.) and Joleigh Ferro (Pittsfield, Mass.), sophomores Miriam Swisher (Albuquerque, N.M.) and Shylee Stewart (Eastham, Mass.) and the first year tandem of Natalie Giraldi (Bedford, N.H.) and Michaela Morris (Duxbury, Mass.). The appearance marks the first time that Simmons has competed in the ECAC championship meet.
Swisher and Stewart will compete in three individual events in addition to four relay events for the Sharks, while Giraldi will race in three individual events and a pair of relay events. Davis, Ferro and Morris will all compete in two relay events for Simmons.
The Sharks are slotted to compete in nine different events and are the highest seed among Division III squads in every event they are set to race in.
Swisher leads Simmons as the 12th seed out of 77 swimmers in the 100-yard freestyle after posting a school-record time of 51.75 to finish first at the Great Northeast Athletic Conference Championship on December 6. She is joined in the event by Stewart, who earned the 37th seed with a personal-best mark of 52.98, which she posted during the 2015 New England Intercollegiate Swimming & Diving Association Time Trials on February 21.
Swisher and Stewart both qualified for the 200-freestyle as well. Swisher is the 30th seed with a school-record time of 1:55.15, which was good for second at the 2015 NEISDA Championships, while Stewart sits as the 38th seed in the event out of 67 competitors. She recorded a personal-record time of 1:56.44 at the NEISDA time trials.
Swisher's time of 24.18 spotted her as the 29th seed in the 50-yard freestyle and was also good for second at the NEISDA Championships. Giraldi will join her in the field as the number 65 seed out of 71 competitors. Her time of 25.32 earned her second at the GNAC Championships.
Giraldi is the 24th seed and lone competitor in the 200-breaststroke for the Sharks after posting a school-record time of 2:28.41 at the NEISDA time trials. She will also compete in the 100-breaststroke as the 19th seed of 40 entrants with a personal-record time of 1:07.06 that was registered at the NEISDA preliminaries. Stewart joins her in the event as the 22nd seed with a mark of 1:07.72, which was also achieved at the NEISDA preliminaries.
Simmons is seeded no lower than 14th in any of the four relay events it qualified for. The Sharks' 400-medley relay squad of Swisher (backstroke), Giraldi (breaststroke), Morris (butterfly) and Stewart (freestyle) posted a school-record time of 3:57.36 to earn the 11th seed after finishing third at the NEISDA Championship. The same quartet will compete in the 200-medley relay as the number 14 seed on a school-record time of 1:48.73, which also placed third at the NEISDA Championships.
Simmons will send Swisher, Ferro, Davis and Stewart into the pool to compete in both the 200 and 400-yard freestyle relays. The Sharks are seeded 12th in both races. Simmons posted a time of 1:39.31 to ring up a second-place showing in the 200-free relay at the NEISDA Championships, while the school-record mark of 3:38.30 in the 400-free relay was recorded at the NEISDA time trials.
Simmons closed out its dual-meet results this season by winning five straight for a 10-2 record to tie the school standard for victories in a campaign. The Sharks won their 11th straight GNAC Championship earlier in the season and finished third for the second straight year at the NEISDA Championships.