BOSTON, Mass. - The Simmons College women's swimming & diving team will compete at the Eastern College Athletic Conference Swimming & Diving Championships for the second straight year. The Sharks will send six swimmers as they did a year ago to compete at host United States Naval Academy's Lejeune Hall in Annapolis, Md. on February 26-28.
Simmons finished ninth in last year's meet and was the highest-scoring Division III squad. The championship meet is open to all NCAA Division I, II and III schools, who have swimmers or divers that have met qualifying standards. There will be swimmers and divers competing from 37 different schools, including 22 Division I institutions and 15 Division III schools.
The Sharks will be represented by an all underclasswomen contingent. Juniors Sarah Price (New York, N.Y.) and Miriam Swisher (Albuquerque, N.M.), sophomores Natalie Giraldi (Bedford, N.H.) and Michaela Morris (Duxbury, Mass.) and the first year tandem of Kerry Fleming (Northampton, Mass.) and Laura Simpson (Perkiomenville, Pa.).
Swisher, Fleming and Simpson are all competing in the maximum number of seven events, including three individual races, while Giraldi will compete in five, including four relays, Morris will swim in three, including two relays and Price will compete in a trio of relay events.
Simmons is set to compete in 13 different events, including all five relays.
Swisher and Simpson are both coming off a pair of individual wins from the New England Swimming & Diving Association Championships two weeks ago. Swisher finished first in the 200-yard freestyle with a school and meet record mark of 1:52.85 and the 200-yard backstroke with a new school standard of 2:03.85 and is seeded 22nd (out of 84) and 19th (out of 54), respectively, in those events for ECAC's.
Simpson won the 500 in a school-record time of 5:08.77 and 1000-yard freestyle with a time of 10:37.96 to break another school record. She's seeded 36th out of 54 in the 500.
Swisher is also the 23rd seed out of 77 in the 50-yard freestyle on a school-record time of 23.80, while Simpson sits 24th for the 1650-yard freestyle with a school-record mark of 17:46.95 and 73rd for the 200-yard freestyle.
Fleming will join Simpson in the 500-freestyle as the 40th seed and is one of three competitors for the Sharks in the 200-yard freestyle as the 64th seed. She will also race in the 100-yard freestyle as the 71st seed. Giraldi will compete as the 24th seed in the 100-yard breaststroke out of a field of 39, while Morris looks to better her school record time of 1:00.08 set two weeks ago in the 100-yard butterfly. She is the 52nd seed out of 68.
The Sharks' highest seed of the meet is in the 200-yard medley relay, where Swisher (backstroke), Giraldi (breaststroke), Morris (butterfly) and Price (freestyle) are slotted 11th. Swisher, Fleming, Price and Simpson will also look to top their school-record mark of 7:50.17 in the 800-yard freestyle relay as the 13th seed. Swisher, Giraldi, Morris and Fleming are slotted 15th for the 400-yard medley relay, while Swisher, Giraldi, Simpson and Fleming will comprise the 400-yard freestyle relay as the 15th seed. Simmons will open the meet in the 200-yard freestyle relay as the 19th seed with Fleming, Giraldi, Simpson and Price as the quartet.
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 and finished third at the NEISDA Championships.