WINTHROP, Mass. – Simmons College's Miriam Swisher (Albuquerque, N.M.) was named the Great Northeast Athletic Conference Women's Swimming & Diving Athlete of the Week for the week of February 23 to March 1, it was announced today by the league.
The award marks the 12th straight reporting period that the Sharks have earned the award. Swisher has earned the accolade a league-high eight times for the weeks of October 27 to November 2, November 3-9, November 10-16, December 1-7, January 12-18, January 26 to February 1 and February 9-15. Sophomore Shylee Stewart (Eastham, Mass.) has been named three times, including the weeks of January 5-11, January 19-25 and February 16-22. Senior Hillary Wong (Quincy, Mass.) was named for the week of October 20-26 to open the season.
Swisher was the Sharks' most active competitor at the 2015 Eastern College Athletic Conference Women's Swimming & Diving Open Championships, competing in three individual events and four relays from February 27 to March 1 at host University of Pittsburgh. The sophomore placed in the consolation finals of two events and was a part of four new school records. Swisher placed 12th in the 100-yard freestyle with a time of 52.31 of the consolation finals and also tied for 13th in the 50-yard freestyle with a mark of 24.08 in the consolations finals. She posted her season best earlier in the day at the event's preliminary race with a time of 24.01. The second-year swimmer broke her own school standard with a time of 1:54.81 in the 200-yard freestyle to place 20th in the preliminaries.
The La Cueva High School product swam the lead leg in all four relays for Simmons, swimming the backstroke laps of the 400-yard medley relay to help the squad to a fourth-place finals finish on a school-record effort of 3:56.80. She led off on the Sharks' school-record time of 1:37.71 in the team's sixth-place finals showing in the 200-yard freestyle relay as well. Swisher turned in a backstroke split of 27.42 to spark the 200-yard medley relay unit's time of 1:49.53 for a ninth-place finish in the consolation finals and capped the meet by leading off the 400-yard freestyle relay during an eighth-place showing on a time of 3:38.99. The quartet had broken the school mark in the event's preliminary heat earlier in the day with a time of 3:37.74.
Swisher has been dominant this season, winning 31 of 39 individual events that she has entered, including six of seven 100-yard freestyle races she's competed in. The Physical Therapy major placed second in a pair of freestyle events at the 2015 New England Intercollegiate Swimming & Diving Association Championships with a time of 1:55.15 in the 200 and 24.18 in the 50. She set a school record with a 50-yard backstroke split of 27.35 as part of a school relay-record time of 1:48.73 to place third in the 200-medley relay. Swisher also swam the lead in the 400-medley relay as part of a time of 3:57.36 for a third-place showing and anchored the Sharks' 200-yard freestyle relay's second-place effort with a time of 1:39.31. She 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 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 55 of 74 individual events, including 17 of 21 backstroke races, ranging from the 50 to the 200, while winning 11 of 15 100-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 finished, perhaps, the most successful season in school history with a ninth-place showing at the ECAC Championships, while topping all Division III schools at the meet. 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 consecutive GNAC Championship earlier in the season and finished third for the second straight year at the NEISDA Championships. The team also broke 11 school records.