ANNAPOLIS, Md. - On the strength of a pair of relay performances, the Simmons College swimming & diving team sits in 13th place at the 2016 Eastern College Athletic Conference Championships at host United States Naval Academy's Lejeune Hall in Annapolis, Md.
The Sharks have scored 66 points in two days of competition and currently trail Division I University of Rutgers (76 points) and Harvard University (77 points) with one day to go. Divsion I University of Virginia is comfortably on top of the meet standings with 539.5 points, while Simmons is the top-scoring Division III squad.
The Sharks' 800-yard freestyle relay squad closed out the night with a ninth-place effort, while junior Miriam Swisher (Albuquerque, N.M.) broke her own 50-yard backstroke record again in a span of nine hours in the opening leg of the 200-yard medley relay to begin the evening.
First year Laura Simpson (Perkiomenville, Pa.) set the pace for Simmons in the opening leg of the 800-freestyle relay. Junior Sarah Price (New York, N.Y.) followed, before first year Kerry Fleming (Northampton, Mass.) set up Swisher for the final 200 yards of the race. Swisher's split of 1:54.74 was almost 17 seconds better than the final competitor from Division I Loyola University of Maryland to give the Sharks a time of 7:52.61 to place ninth in the event.
Swisher's mark of 26.95 in the opening backstroke leg of the 200-medley relay clipped her school standard from the morning by five one hundreths of a second to set the tone for Simmons. Sophomore Natalie Giraldi (Bedford, N.H.) followed in the breaststroke and classmate Michaela Morris (Duxbury, Mass.) provided the effort in the butterfly leg. Price closed out the race in the freestyle anchor leg to complete a collective time of 1:50.62 to place 11th for the Sharks.
Simmons returns to the pool tomorrow with its first event in the 200-yard backstroke at 9:00 a.m.