WINTHROP, Mass. – Simmons College women's swimmer Laura Simpson (Perkiomenville, Pa.) was named the Eastern College Athletic Conference New England Women's Swimming & Diving Rookie of the Week for the week of November 30 to December 6, it was announced today by the conference.
Simpson scored a meet-high 76 points to help the Sharks win their 12th straight Great Northeast Athletic Conference Championship on December 5-6. She finished with three first place showings to go with a third-place effort. The first year shattered the GNAC record in the 1650-yard freestyle by nearly 58 seconds and also bettered the school mark by almost 39 seconds with a time of 17:58.42 for the Sharks. During her race, she turned in a 1000-yard split of 10:48.53 to break the former mark of 11:03.40, set in 2006 by Keri-Ann Arsenault, who also held the school record in the 1650. In addition, she won the 500-yard freestyle with a time of 5:11.84 to break her own school standard by 7.59 seconds, while surpassing the conference championship record by nearly 17 seconds. A graduate of Boyertown High School, Simpson hit the wall first in the 200-yard freestyle as well with a time of 1:58.01. She placed third in the 100-yard freestyle, clocking in at 57.33. Simpson also helped Simmons win a pair of relay events, swimming the lead leg of the 400-yard freestyle to set the pace for a GNAC-record time of 3:45.59. The rookie began the meet by swimming the second leg of the 200-yard freestyle relay to help the Sharks post a winning mark of 1:43.95.
Simpson has been outstanding during her first collegiate season, earning GNAC Rookie of the Week honors twice, while winning 12 of 18 races, including preliminaries, that she's entered. She's excelled in the distance events, winning eight of nine races ranging from 500-1650 yards. Simpson really opened some eyes in the region when she placed second in the 500-yard freestyle at the New England Invitational in Worcester, Mass. on November 7. She has been dominant in the 200-yard freestyle as well, winning four of five races that she's entered.
Simmons is currently 5-1 on the season and will compete again on January 9, when it travels to Plymouth, N.H. to take on Plymouth State University at 1:00 p.m.