WINTHROP, Mass. – Simmons College's Aine Scholand (Albuquerque, N.M.) was named the Great Northeast Athletic Conference Women's Swimming & Diving Athlete of the Week for the week of January 1-7, it was announced today by the league.
Scholand also won the award for the week of October 16-22. The honor marks the fourth time a competitor from the Fenway school has earned the accolade with junior Jason Erichsen (Banks, Ore.) matching Scholand with a pair of top athlete designations for the weeks of October 23-29 and November 6-12.
The sophomore transfer was one of two competitors to win two events and help the Sharks to a 213-72 victory over host Plymouth State University on January 6. Scholand began the meet by shattering PSU's pool record in the 1000-yard freestyle by more than seven and a half seconds with a time of 10:53.72 to win the race by more than 81 seconds. The Sandia High School product showed her versatility later in the meet by touching the wall first in the 100-yard backstroke with a mark of 1:05.20.
Scholand has been nothing short of dominant in her first season with Simmons, winning 16 of 19 races she's entered, including all four 1000-yard freestyle events and both 1650-yard freestyle efforts. She's owned the freestyle stroke, no matter the distance, adding multiple victories in the 100, 200 and 500-yard events. The Neuroscience and Behavior major opened eyes immediately at the GNAC Championship in December by obliterating the conference record in the 1650 by nearly 50 seconds, the school standard by just under 30 seconds and the pool record by 14-plus seconds with a time of 17:08.68. Her time currently stands as the sixth-fastest in the nation this year to qualify for the NCAA Championships in March. Scholand also set GNAC and pool records in the 500-yard and 200-yard freestyle events with times of 5:01.81 and 1:55.43, respectively, as part of a 74-point tally to tie for the most points scored in the championship meet for the Sharks.
The New Mexico native transferred to Simmons prior to the season from Division I Evansville University, where she was named the Purple Aces' Most Improved Newcomer following her first year of collegiate competition. She also finished sixth in the 1650-yard freestyle at the Missouri Valley Conference Championship during her rookie campaign.
The Sharks are currently 6-2 on the season and won their 14th straight GNAC Championship in early December. Simmons returns to action on Saturday, January 13 when it hosts Regis (Mass.) and Colby-Sawyer College for an 11:00 a.m. meet.