KINGSTON, R.I. - First year Laura Simpson (Perkiomenville, Pa.) shattered her own school record in the 1000-yard freestyle by almost 11 seconds to place first and lead the Simmons College women's swimming & diving team this morning at the New England Intercollegiate Swimming & Diving Association Championships hosted by University of Rhode Island at the Tootell Aquatic Center in Kingston, R.I. The Sharks will compete in tonight's finals at 6:30 p.m.
Simpson won the 1000 by just over six seconds and earned the gold in the "timed" final for the Sharks to become the first competitor in school history to win multiple events at the NEISDA Championships. Her time was just over a second shy of the meet record. Senior Alex Vutech (Woodstock, Vt.) placed 14th in the race with a personal-best time of 11:35.90.
Simmons will send 12 additional swimmers to tonight's finals, including six to compete among the top-eight competitors.
Junior Miriam Swisher (Albuquerque, N.M.) highlighted the 200-yard freestyle race with a school-record mark of 1:54.48 to gain the top seed as one of six Simmons swimmers, who advanced to compete in tonight's finals in the event. First year Kerry Fleming (Northampton, Mass.) registered a personal-record time of 1:57.26 to earn the third seed, while three more Sharks all finished within two seconds of each other. Junior Sarah Price (New York, N.Y.) clocked in with a personal-record time of 2:04.15 to finish 10th, just a hair under a second better than classmate Julie Nguyen (Salem), who recorded a personal-best mark of her own at 2:05.14 for an 11th-place effort. Junior Jordan Mattheisen (Seattle, Wash.) continued the trend of personal-bests with one of her own, hitting the wall at 2:05.86 to grab the 13th seed. First year Kara Smith (Eastham, Mass.) capped the Simmons' prowess in the event with a personal-record mark of 2:07.56 to earn the 16th seed, ensuring all six Shark entries will compete in the event at tonight's finals.
Sophomore Natalie Giraldi (Bedford, N.H.) showed why she's in the hunt for the 100-yard breaststroke title with a time of 1:08.10 to earn the second seed for Simmons in tonight's finals. The 400-yard individual medley also proved to be fruitful for the Sharks with junior Hannah Plourde (Westfield, Mass.) showing her mettle with a sixth-seed effort of 4:58.78. Senior Rachel Chenard (Saco, Maine) looks to add more memories to her career, as her tenure comes to a close, after hitting the wall at 5:11.20 to take the 11th seed in tonight's finals.
Sophomore Michaela Morris (Duxbury, Mass.) will compete among the top-eight after earning the seventh seed in the 50-yard butterfly for Simmons in a time of 27.98. First year Charlotte Rivard (Norwood, Mass.) enters tonight's finals as the 12th seed in the race following a personal-best time of 28.87.
The Sharks will open tonight's finals as the number three seed in the 200-yard medley relay after posting a time of 1:50.96. Swisher opened the relay as the backstroke leg, followed by Giraldi's breaststroke and Morris' butterfly. Fleming closed out the effort with the freestyle.