BOSTON, Mass. – Simmons College women's swimmer Miriam Swisher (Albuquerque, N.M.) was named the Eastern College Athletic Conference and Great Northeast Athletic Conference Women's Swimming & Diving Athlete of the Week for the week of February 8-14, it was announced by each conference.
The award marks the eighth time that a Shark has been named this season for the GNAC. Four different competitors from Simmons have been tabbed this year. Swisher has earned the award a season-high four times, previously being named for the weeks of November 9-15, November 16-22 and last week.
Sophomore Natalie Giraldi (Bedford, N.H.) was selected the GNAC's top weekly athlete for the weeks of October 19-25 and November 2-8, while junior diver Alison 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 for the week of January 18-24.
Swisher enjoyed, arguably, the greatest weekend of her collegiate career. The junior was named the Bruce Hutchinson Female Swimmer of the Meet and led Simmons to third place at the 2016 New England Intercollegiate Swimming & Diving Association Championships at host University of Rhode Island's Tootell Aquatics Center in Kingston, R.I. Swisher became just one of two competitors in school history to win multiple events at the championship meet, while also setting four school records and breaking a meet record. An Exercise Science major, Swisher achieved All-NEISDA status in seven events and also helped the Sharks win a pair of relay races. She broke the meet and school record in the 200-yard freestyle with a time of 1:52.85, which also qualified for the NCAA "B" cut and the clipped the NEISDA record that stood since 1993. Swisher also won the 200-yard backstroke with a school-record standard of 2:03.85, which shattered the 17-year old school record by almost five seconds and also made the NCAA "B" cut. Swisher placed second in the 100-yard freestyle with a mark of 51.90 and was a part of Simmons' winning 800-yard freestyle relay team, which broke the school mark by more than nine seconds with a time of 7:50.17. In addition, she led off the Sharks' winning 400-yard medley relay effort with a backstroke split time of 56.69 to eclipse her own school standard and qualify for the NCAA "B" cut, while contributing to a collective time of 3:58.43. Swisher was a part of the Simmons 200-yard medley relay squad that finished third with a time of 1:48.91 and was a cog in the Sharks' 400-yard freestyle relay team that placed third with a time of 3:39.74. Swisher also set a school-record in the 50-yard freestyle in a timed trial with a time of 23.80, which was good for the NCAA "B" cut as well.
The La Cueva High School product has posted 26 top-three finishes this season, including 24 first-place efforts. She has not lost a freestyle race in the 50 or 100-yard events in dual meets, 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 88 top-three efforts, while placing first 80 times during her career. The junior has been named the GNAC Athlete of the Week 15 times for her time at Simmons and was chosen as the GNAC Swimming & Diving Athlete of the Year last season. She currently holds six individual school records and has been a part of five school relay team standards. She has earned All-NEISDA status in 18 events during her career and 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 10 school records fall this season. The Sharks return to the pool on February 26-28 when they travel to Annapolis, Md. to compete in the Eastern College Athletic Conference Championships hosted by the United States Naval Academy.