Simpson, Swisher Lead Swimming & Diving over Mount Holyoke, 186-102, for Perfect Season

Sophomore Laura Simpson finished first three times on the day.
Sophomore Laura Simpson finished first three times on the day.

BOSTON, Mass. – Senior Miriam Swisher (Albuquerque, N.M.) and sophomore Laura Simpson (Perkiomenville, Pa.) each finished first in three events to lead the Simmons College women's swimming & diving team over visiting Mount Holyoke College, 186-102, this afternoon at the Holmes Sports Center Natatorium in Boston, Mass. The Sharks finish their regular season with the first perfect season in school history at 12-0, while the Lyons fall to 2-7. 

Simmons won 11 of 16 events on the day. 

Swisher began the afternoon by swimming the opening backstroke leg of the 200-yard medley relay for the Sharks, followed by junior Natalie Giraldi's (Bedford, N.H.) breaststroke and junior Michaela Morris (Duxbury, Mass.) in the butterfly, capped by sophomore Kerry Fleming (Northampton, Mass.) in the freestyle anchor leg to combine for a winning time of 1:52.83 to win by just over 11 seconds. Swisher won her first individual event in the 50-yard backstroke, hitting the wall at 28.94, before taking the 50-yard freestyle with a mark of 25.78. She capped her 27-point effort with a winning time of 1:02.65 in the 100-yard backstroke. Simpson began her afternoon with a win in the 1000-yard freestyle in a time of 10:59.30 and wasted no time getting her second victory, winning the 200-yard freestyle in the very next event with a time of 2:03.46 from lane eight. Simpson capped her outstanding individual showing with a win in the 500-yard freestyle, clocking in at 5:32.11 to win by more than 12 seconds. 

Giraldi was also a multiple-winner for Simmons, finishing first in the 100-yard breaststroke by four-plus seconds on a time of 1:08.89, before claiming the top spot in the 200-yard individual medley with a mark of 2:20.58. Fleming tallied 17 points for the Sharks, winning the 100-yard freestyle with a time of 56.29. She also finished second in the 1000-yard freestyle and the 50-yard freestyle, getting edged out by her teammates in just over a second in the 1000 and two-tenths of a second in the 50. 

Morris was also a winner for Simmons, placing first in the 100-yard butterfly with a time of 1:02.14 to win by more than two and a half seconds, before being out-touched in the 50-yard butterfly by just over two-tenths of a second by Mount Holyoke senior Katie Tyler's (South Hadley, Mass.) mark of 27.49. Tyler also placed third in the 50-yard freestyle and fourth in the 100-yard breaststroke to score 14 points on the day for the visitors. 

First year Samantha Nemivant (Scottsdale, Ariz.) led the Lyons on the diving board, scoring wins on both the one and three-meter boards. The rookie tallied 247.65 points in her six dives on the one-meter board and scored 259.57 points on the three-meter board. First year Cristina Samaniego (Avon, Conn.) finished second on both boards for the Sharks with 172.57 and 142.27 points on the one and three-meter boards, respectively.

Junior Claire Beckett (Haslett, Mich.) earned a victory in the 50-yard breaststroke for Mount Holyoke, with a time of 34.22 and also added fifth-place finishes in the 100-yard backstroke and 200-yard individual medley. Sophomore Bri Groves (Reston, Va.) and senior Emily Craig (Rochester, N.Y.) each racked up three second-place efforts for the Lyons with Groves competing in the 100-yard breaststroke and butterfly events and the 200-yard IM, while Craig scored her points in the 100, 200 and 500-yard freestyle events. MHC finished the day by winning the 200-yard freestyle relay in a time of 1:45.47 to win by eight-one hundredths of a second behind Tyler, senior Anne Kuenning, Craig and Groves. 

The Sharks will not compete for the next three weeks, before traveling to Kingston, R.I. on February 17-19 to compete in the New England Intercollegiate Swimming & Diving Association Championship. Mount Holyoke returns to the pool on February 4 when it hosts Smith College at 1:00 p.m.