BOSTON, Mass. - Senior Miriam Swisher (Albuquerque, N.M.) broke four individual conference records to lead the Simmons College women's swimming and diving team to a first place showing following Day One of the 2016 Great Northeast Athletic Conference Swimming & Diving Championship today at the Holmes Sports Center Natatorium in Boston, Mass. The Norwich University men's team saw eight competitors register double-digit efforts to lead a balanced effort to put the Cadets in first place following the first day of the GNAC Invitational.
The Sharks sit in first place on the women's side after winning seven of 11 events with a score of 571 points, while Regis College is second with 286. Norwich's women are in third place with 204 points, while Saint Joseph's College (Maine) is fourth at 196. Husson University sits fifth with 166, University of Saint Joseph (Conn.) is sixth at 131 and Elms College is in seventh place with 114 points. Nine GNAC records, including four pool standards fell on the women's side.
Norwich's first-place score of 176 leads Regis' tally of 119 points. Elms holds the third position with 60, while Husson is fourth with 31 and Saint Joseph's (Maine) is fifth with 27. The men saw six conference records go by the boards.
Swisher, who has never lost a GNAC race she has entered, scored 60 points to lead all scorers for the women. She began her impressive night by breaking her own league mark in the 50-yard freestyle with a mark of 23.87 to lead a 1-2-3 Simmons sweep in the event. Swisher later broke her own GNAC record in the 200-yard freestyle, in another Sharks sweep, by just over two seconds with a time of 1:55.54, which also edged the three-year old pool record held by Wellesley College's Keelin Nave by just over two tenths of a second. Swisher shattered the conference mark in the 200-yard backstroke by over five and a half seconds, clocking in at 2:09.46 to top the pool record as well. The senior capped the night by helping the Sharks' 400-yard medley relay team break the GNAC standard with a time of 4:06.89 to clip their own mark by over three seconds and the pool record as well. Swisher's time of 1:00.28 over the first 100 yards of the lead backstroke was good for a GNAC record as well. She was followed by juniors Natalie Giraldi (Bedford, N.H.) in the breaststroke and Michaela Morris (Duxbury, Mass.) in the butterfly, while sophomore Kerry Fleming (Northampton, Mass.) closed out the race in the freestyle leg.
Morris tallied 55 points as the meet's second-leading scorer, fueled by record-setting wins in the 50 and 100-yard butterfly events. Morris broke her own GNAC record in the 100-yard butterfly by over a second with a mark of 1:00.38 and later broke the GNAC, pool and Simmons record in the 50-yard butterfly with a time of 26.94 to break her own conference and school mark, while taking down the former pool standard held by Wellesley's Sarah May. Morris also placed fourth in the 200-yard individual medley. Giraldi racked up 43 points for the Sharks with a second-place showing in the 100-yard breaststroke and a pair of six-place efforts in the 50-yard freestyle and 50-yard butterfly. Sophomore Laura Simpson (Perkiomenville, Pa.) out-touched Fleming to take the 500-yard freestyle by just under two seconds in 5:14.50 and later placed second in the 200-yard freestyle to finish the night with 37 points as the meet's number five scorer. Fleming was seventh on the scoring leaderboard with 34 points, adding a second-place effort in the 200-yard freestyle to her 500 entry.
Husson junior Lara Sarett (Smithtown, N.Y.) led the Eagles with 37 points as the meet's fourth-leading scorer. Her night included a GNAC-record time of 1:06.90 to clip the former 100-yard breaststroke standard by half a second. Norwich first year Elaine Dudley (North Waterboro, Maine) continued her outstanding rookie campaign with a first-place time of 2:12.40 to erase Jen Collins of Simmons' three-year old mark in the 200-yard individual medley by just over three seconds. She also added a fourth-place finish in the 200-yard freestyle to give her 35 points for the day. Regis saw five competitors rank among the day's top 10 scorers as sophomore Amanda Graf (Newton, Mass.) scored 33 points on a second-place showing in the 200-yard backstroke and a third-place effort in the 200-yard backstroke. First year Jessica Zernitsky (Newton, Mass.) collected 32 points after finishing second in the 50-yard butterfly and fourth in the 50-yard freestyle, while sophomore Katherine Mariano (Newton, Mass.), junior Jessica Higgins (Peabody, Mass.) and first year Gloria Sutton (Suffield, Mass.) all scored 31 points. Higgins, first year Sarah Leonard (Brockton, Mass.), junior Ashlyn DeRoche (North Reading, Mass.) and Zernitsky combined for a win in the 200-yard freestyle relay with a time of 1:41.81 to open the meet. First year Elisabeth McQuaid (Marlborough, Mass.) won on the one-meter board with a score of 204.25 points to lead all divers for the day.
Saint Joseph's (Maine) was paced by 27 points from Alexis Coiley (Fairfield, Maine), who finished fourth in the 500-yard freestyle and seventh in the 200-yard freestyle. Saint Joseph (Conn.) sophomore Annmarie Masayda (Watertown, Conn.) led the Blue Jays with 23 points on a third-place finish in the 100-yard breaststroke and a 10th-place effort in the 50-yard freestyle.
Norwich boasted three top-eight scorers among the men and 11 in the top 16 to fuel their first-place effort. Senior Everett Howard (Santa Clarita, Calif.) led the Cadets with 15 points as the meet's third-leading scorer, including a win in the 200-yard backstroke on a time of 2:06.26. He also placed third in the 200-yard individual medley. Sophomore Jacob Rubin (Johns Creek, Ga.) tallied 14 points on a pair of second-place showings in the 50-yard freestyle and butterfly. Norwich dominated the diving with a 1-2-3 effort. Sophomore Chris Danieli (Chelmsford, Mass.) won the one-meter event with 193.50 points to edge senior teammate JP Myers (Scranton, Pa.), who tallied 190.10 points.
Regis seniors Kiet Luong (Malden, Mass.) and Cassidy Bastianelli (Newton, Mass.) led all individual performers with a pair of first place finishes. Luong set conference records in both of his events with a time of 1:58.51 to break the four-year old mark in the 200-yard individual medley by almost two and a half seconds and mark of 23.09 to better his own standard in the 50-yard butterfly. Bastianelli broke his own mark in the 200-yard freestyle with a time of 1:45.01 and won the 50-yard freestyle with a time of 21.99 earlier in the night. Luong, senior Bryan Johnson (Sudbury, Mass.), junior Nick Rainville (Reading, Mass.) and Bastianelli combined to break the first conference record of the night with a time of 1:27.41 in the 200-yard freestyle relay to best Regis' former mark by just under three seconds. Luong was the catalyst for the win, leading off the relay with a GNAC record-time of 21.64 in the 50-yard split. Johnson also enjoyed individual success by winning the 100-yard breaststroke with a time of 1:03.49, while finishing fourth in the 50-yard freestyle. Sophomore Joshua Unas (Santa Clarita, Calif.) and Rainville both finished among the top-10 male point scorers for the night. Unas placed second in the 100-yard butterfly and third in the 100-yard breaststroke, while Rainville collected third-place showings in the 50-yard freestyle and butterfly.
Senior Ryan Burgos (Plaistow, N.H.) paced Elms with 15 points, while setting a GNAC record in the 500-yard freestyle with a time of 5:02.17. He later placed third in the 200-yard backstroke. Senior Nick Cirillo (Gloversville, N.Y.) joined Burgos among the top-five scores for the night with a pair of second-place efforts in the 200-yard freestyle and 500-yard freestyle. Senior Grant Gerber (Portland, Maine) led Husson with a second-place effort in the 100-yard breaststroke to go with an eighth-place showing in the 50-yard freestyle. Sophomore Stephen Quinlan (Andover, Mass.) paced Saint Joseph's (Maine) on a third-place finish in the 100-yard butterfly.