BOSTON, Mass. – The Simmons College women's swimming & diving team won its 13th consecutive Great Northeast Athletic Conference Championship and 15th in the last 16 years this evening at the Holmes Sports Center in Boston, Mass, while the Norwich University men's team captured its sixth GNAC Invitational crown in as many years.
The Sharks scored 1124 points, while Regis College claimed the runner-up spot with 541 points. Norwich's women tallied 435 points to place third and Saint Joseph's College (Maine) finished fourth with 384. Husson University placed fifth with 365 points, while University of Saint Joseph (Conn.) racked up 303 points to finish sixth, ahead of Elms College, which scored 251 points.
The Norwich men registered 391 points to outdistance Regis' men's total of 214. Elms scored 136 points to place third for the men, while Husson scored 72 and Saint Joseph's (Maine) collected 44.
A dozen GNAC records fell for both the women and the men during the meet, including six for the men on the second day and four for the women.
Senior Miriam Swisher (Albuquerque, N.M.) led Simmons as the only female competitor to win all four events that she entered, while breaking three conference records during the two-day meet. She won her only event on day two, posting a time of 52.52 to earn a victory in the 100-yard freestyle as one of seven of 11 events the host school claimed victory in. Senior Sarah Price (New York, N.Y.) and first year Laura List (Bedford, Mass.) were the top scorers for day two of the meet with 47 points. Price placed second in the 50 and 200-yard breaststroke events in addition to placing sixth in the 100-yard freestyle, while List finished second in the 100-yard backstroke and fourth in both the 100-freestyle and 50-yard backstroke. Sophomore Laura Simpson (Perkiomenville, Pa.) finished as the meet's overall third-leading scorer with 76 points, including a pair of GNAC record-breaking efforts on the second day. Simpson broke the mark in the 1000-yard freestyle by more than 17 seconds with a time of 10:57.14, while erasing the conference and school standard for the 400-yard individual medley with a mark of 4:52.32 on the second day. Junior Michaela Morris (Duxbury, Mass.) completed her sweep of the butterfly events, winning the 200-yard event with a time of 2:20.31 to lead a 1-2-3 sweep of the race for the Sharks. She finished the weekend with 75 points as the number four scorer. Sophomore Kerry Fleming (Northampton, Mass.) tallied 67 points for the meet for the seventh-most and was part of a Simmons sweep in the 400-IM with a second place effort. First year diver Cristina Samaniego (Avon, Conn.) scored 286.80 points to earn the championship on the three-meter board for the Sharks. Simmons capped the evening by shattering the conference and Holmes Sports Center Natatorium standard in the 800-yard freestyle relay by more than 26 seconds with a mark of 8:01.03 behind Price, Simpson, Fleming and Swisher.
Junior Lara Sarett (Smithtown, N.Y.) continued her dominance in the breaststroke events for Husson on the day, earning two more first place finishes, winning the 50-yard breaststroke in 31.30 and the 200-yard race in 2:29.72. She finished the meet as the second-leading scorer with 77 points on three first-places and a second-place showing. First year Elaine Dudley (North Waterboro, Maine) earned a pair of second-place efforts in the 100-yard freestyle and 50-yard backstroke on day two and scored 69 points for the meet for the fifth-highest total. Sophomore Amanda Graf (Newton, Mass.) and first year Sarah Leonard (Brockton, Mass.) both earned a win on day two, respectively. Graf broke the GNAC record in the 100-yard backstroke with a time of 1:00.67 and Leonard finished ahead of the field in the 50-yard backstroke behind a time of 28.26. Graf tied for fifth in the meet with 69 points. Sophomore Annmarie Masayda (Watertown, Conn.) paced Saint Joseph (Conn.) with 54 points on the weekend, including a fourth-place showing in the 50-yard breaststroke and a fifth-place finish in the 200-yard breaststroke for the day. Sophomore Julie Rowlett (Saco, Maine) topped Saint Joseph's (Maine) with 47 points for the meet and finished sixth (200-yard butterfly) and eighth (100-yard backstroke) to pace the Monks' day two efforts. First year Kelly Scianna (Milford, Conn.) fueled Elms with a team-high 37 points for the weekend and senior Kelly O'Connell (Monson, Mass.) tallied 23 points for the day, finishing seventh in the 1000-yard freestyle and eighth in the 200-yard butterfly.
Despite Regis' men winning 11 of 22 events during the meet, it was Norwich's depth that won out. The Cadets boasted 12 of the meet's top 20 individual scorers, led by sophomore Jacob Rubin (Johns Creek, Ga.), who placed second three times during the meet in the 50-yard freestyle, the 50-yard butterfly and added the 200-yard butterfly on day two as part of a 27-point output for the weekend. Senior Everett Howard (Santa Clarita, Calif.) tallied 26 points, including a second-place showing in the 100-yard backstroke on day two. Senior Ryan Hanley (Wiscasset, Maine) won the 100-yard backstroke in 55.37 as one of three Norwich competitors to win an event on the second day. First year Alex DiGiacomo (Norfolk, Mass.) added his second butterfly win to his haul, taking the 200 event on day two in 2:01.32. Sophomore Chris Danieli (Chelmsford, Mass.) earned his second win on the diving board in as many days, scoring a GNAC record total of 289.35 on the three-meter board with 11 dives.
Regis' was led by a pair of outstanding seniors in Kiet Luong (Malden, Mass.) and Cassidy Bastianelli (Newton, Mass.). Luong won all four of his individual events with conference-record times. He added the 400-yard individual medley (4:22.08) and the 50-yard backstroke (24.20) on day two, while Bastianelli continued to show his versatility in the freestyle events, setting GNAC marks in the 1000-yard freestyle with a time of 9:58.49, including a league-record split time in the first 500 yards at 4:52.19. He also put his short game on display with a record-setting win in the 100-yard freestyle at 47.75. The Pride began the night with a win in the 200-yard medley relay as Luong, senior Bryan Johnson (Sudbury, Mass.), junior Nick Rainville (Reading, Mass.) and Bastianelli combined for a mark of 1:39.86.
Senior Ryan Burgos (Plaistow, N.H.) topped Elms and ranked as the third-highest overall scorer for the meet with 31 points, including a winning time of 2:23.92 in the 200-yard breaststroke on day two to do with a second-place finish in the 1000-yard freestyle. The Blazers capped the meet with a win in the 800-yard freestyle, thanks to senior Nick Cirillo (Gloversville, N.Y.), Burgos, sophomore Michael Grippo (Longmeadow, Mass.) and junior Nick Bergstrom (Derry, N.H.) putting together a time of 7:36.38.
Senior Grant Gerber (Portland, Maine) scored 22 points on the weekend for Husson and paced the Eagles on day two with a first-place effort in the 50-yard breaststroke on a mark of 28.71. Sophomore Stephen Quinlan (Andover, Mass.) led Saint Joseph's (Maine) with 11 points and picked up fourth place on the second day in the 200-yard butterfly.