WINTHROP, Mass. – Simmons College's Kerry Fleming (Northampton, Mass.) was named the Great Northeast Athletic Conference Women's Swimming & Diving Athlete of the Week for the week of January 9-15, it was announced today by the league.
The honor marks the fourth time this season a competitor from the Fenway school has earned the award. Senior Miriam Swisher (Albuquerque, N.M.) received the accolade for the weeks of October 24-30 and November to December 4, while classmate Hannah Plourde (Westfield, Mass.) was the GNAC's top female swimming athlete for the week of November 14-20.
Fleming finished first in all three individual events that she was entered, in addition to helping the Sharks win a relay event in the team's double-dual meet sweep of host Colby-Sawyer College and Regis College on January 14. The sophomore tallied a meet-high 27 points and hit the wall first in the 200 and 100-yard freestyle events, before capping her individual success with a first-place effort in the 100-yard individual medley for Simmons. She also swam the anchor leg of the Sharks' winning 200-yard freestyle race. The Northampton High School graduate won the 200-yard free by more than five seconds with a time of 2:00.22 and later earned victory in the 100-yard free at 55.75 to win by nearly three seconds. She capped her individual day with a win in the 100-yard IM with a time of 1:05.19 as part of a 1-2-3 sweep for Simmons. Fleming was joined by first year Laura List (Bedford, Mass.), senior Miriam Swisher (Albuquerque, N.M.) and junior Natalie Giraldi (Bedford, N.H.) to post a winning time of 1:44.52 in the 200-yard freestyle relay.
Fleming has turned in 19 top-three finishes for the season, including 12 first-place efforts to rack up 189 points for the year in nine different events. The second-year swimmer has also been a part of nine winning relay contingents for the Sharks. The Marketing Communications and Public Relations major has placed first in every dual meet this season and was the seventh-highest scorer at the GNAC Championships from December 3-4 with second-place showings in the 500 and 200-yard freestyle events as well as the 400-yard individual medley in addition to a third-place effort in the 100-yard freestyle. Fleming also helped Simmons set conference championship and Holmes Sports Center Natatorium records in the 400-yard medley and the 800-yard freestyle relay events to earn All-Conference honors for the second straight year.
For her career, Fleming has racked up 44 top-three placings, including 21 victories. She burst onto the collegiate scene last year as a four-time recipient of the GNAC's Rookie of the Week award. Fleming also finished second in the 500-yard freestyle at the New England Intercollegiate Swimming & Diving Association Championship during her rookie campaign in addition to finishing third in the 100 and 200-yard freestyle events at NEISDA.
The Sharks are enjoying their best start in school history with a 9-0 mark in dual meets and earned their 13th straight GNAC Championship earlier in the season. Simmons returns to the water on Saturday, January 21 when it hosts Western New England University and Saint Joseph's College (Maine) in double-dual meet action at 11:00 a.m.