WINTHROP, Mass. – Simmons College women's 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 25-31, it was announced today by the league.
The award marks the seventh time that a Shark has been named this season. Four different competitors from Simmons have been tabbed this year. Swisher has earned the award a season-high three times, previously being named for the weeks of November 9-15 and November 16-22. Sophomore Natalie Giraldi (Bedford, N.H.) was selected the top weekly athlete for the weeks of October 19-25 and November 2-8, while junior diverAlison Gauvin (Whitefield, Maine) garnered the honor for the week of January 4-10 and junior Sarah Price (New York, N.Y.) captured the top accolade last week.
Swisher won both individual events that she entered last week, winning the 200-yard freestyle by more than four seconds with a time of 2:00.09 and hitting the wall first in the 100-yard backstroke with a season-best mark of 1:00.92 to win by almost three seconds at Mount Holyoke College on January 30. The junior swam the opening backstroke leg of the 200-yard medley relay to help the Sharks win the race in a time of 1:54.42 and also ripped off a season-best split of 23.99 in the final 50 yards of the 200-yard freestyle relay to fuel a second-place showing for the Simmons relay squad with a time of 1:42.69.
The La Cueva High School product has posted 23 top-three finishes this season, including 22 first-place efforts. She has not lost a freestyle race in the 50 or 100-yard events, going a combined 9-0, while winning all five 50-yard backstroke races and all three 200-yard backstroke events that she's entered. Swisher earned All-Conference status earlier in the season when she won the 100-yard freestyle and 50-yard backstroke at the GNAC Championship in December and helped Simmons break a pair of GNAC relay records with a time of 1:51.58 in the 200-yard medley relay and a clip of 3:45.59 to eclipse the former standard in the 400-yard freestyle relay, despite fighting illness. Swisher also placed fourth at the New England Invitational with a time of 1:59.34 in the 200-yard freestyle on November 7.
Swisher has racked up 85 top-three efforts, while placing first 78 times during her career. An Exercise Science major, she has been named the GNAC Athlete of the Week 14 times for her career and was chosen as the GNAC Swimming & Diving Athlete of the Year last season. The junior currently holds five individual school records and has been a part of five school relay team standards. She also earned All-NEISDA status in five events at the New England Intercollegiate Swimming & Diving Association Championship last year. In addition, Swisher has earned 10 GNAC Individual Championships during her three-year tenure.
The Sharks are enjoying one of the best seasons in program history, owning a 10-2 record in dual meets this year to match a school-record, while winning its 12th straight Great Northeast Athletic Conference Championship in December. Simmons has also seen four individual school records fall this season. The Sharks will be in action again on Friday, February 12 when they compete at the New England Intercollegiate Swimming & Diving Association Championship.