WINTHROP, Mass. – Simmons College women's swimmer Kerry Fleming (Northampton, Mass.) has been named the Great Northeast Athletic Conference Women's Swimming & Diving Rookie of the Week for the week of February 22-28, it was announced by the league today.
The Sharks have earned the GNAC award in all 11 of the reporting periods. Fleming has earned the honor a conference-high five times having previously been named for the weeks of October 19-25, November 16-22, January 11-17 and January 18-24.
Fleming capped her rookie campaign by competing at the Eastern College Athletic Conference Championship hosted by United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md. last weekend. The Sharks finished 13th as a team among Division I, II and III schools and was the top-scoring Division III program for the second straight year.
Fleming competed in the maximum of seven events during the meet, including four relay races for Simmons. The Northampton High School product swam a personal-best 1:56.93 to finish 43rd in the 200-yard freestyle and capped her individual efforts with a 46th-place showing in the 100-yard freestyle on a personal-record time of 54.18. The first year finished 33rd and first among Division III competitors in the 500-yard freestyle with a time of 5:13.40 on the first day of competition. Fleming was an integral part of four relay squads for the Sharks as well. She swam the anchor leg of the Sharks seventh-place finishing 400-yard medley relay squad, helping it to a time of 4:00.99. She swam the third leg of the 800-yard freestyle relay unit that placed ninth with a mark of 7:52.61 and led off the 400-yard freestyle relay squad, which finished 10th with a time of 3:37.77, just three one-hundreths of a second off the school record. The rookie also swam the anchor of the 200-yard freestyle relay that placed 11th with a time of 1:42.53.
A Marketing Communications and Public Relations major at Simmons, Fleming has excelled in every stroke that she's competed in this season. She's swam primarily in freestyle events, posting 25 top three-finishes in lengths ranging from 50 to 500 yards, while placing first nine times. She won the GNAC crown in the 50-yard freestyle with a personal-record time of 25.49 on December 5 to earn All-Conference status and placed second at the GNAC Championships in both the 100 and 200-yard freestyle events. The rookie came up big, swimming the 500-yard freestyle for just the third time this season and placed second at the New England Intercollegiate Swimming & Diving Association Championships with a personal-best mark of 5:10.37 on February 12. She has posted four wins in the 100-yard individual medley in as many races, including the GNAC title with a personal-record time of 1:03.45. She won her only 100-yard backstroke race vs. University of New England on November 21 with a time of 1:04.02 and placed second in her only butterfly event of the year, clocking in at 1:07.78 in the 100 vs. Plymouth State University on January 9.
The Sharks posted 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 11 school records fall this season. The Sharks finished third at the NEISDA Championships for the third consecutive year as well.