WINTHROP, Mass. – Simmons College's Maria Soraghan (East Hampstead, N.H.) was named the Great Northeast Athletic Conference Women's Swimming & Diving Rookie of the Week for the week of January 15-21, it was announced today by the league.
Soraghan earns the honor for a conference-high fourth time after being named previously for the weeks of January 1-7, November 6-12 and October 23-29. The Sharks have seen one of their own named the weekly top rookie six times this season with first years Haley Summers (Hudson, N.H.) (November 13-19) and Elizabeth Bartlett (Richmond, Mass.) (January 8-14) also receiving the award.
Soraghan was tabbed the top newcomer after winning both of her individual events and helping Simmons to a relay win. The first year swimmer showed her versatility by winning the 50-yard backstroke by two-seconds with a mark of 30.81, before dominating the 500-yard freestyle with a time of 5:32.39 to win the event by nearly 22 seconds. A graduate of Pinkerton Academy, she capped the meet by swimming the second leg of the 200-yard freestyle to combine with sophomore Laura List (Bedford, Mass.), Summers and first year Emily Buttafuoco (Londonderry, N.H.) on a winning mark of 1:46.07.
The Granite State native has been outstanding in her first season of collegiate swimming for the Sharks, posting 18 top-three finishes in 20 races, while recording 11 victories. Soraghan has not lost a race in the 50 and 100-yard freestyle and has shown excellent range, winning races in the 50, 100, 200, 500 and 1000-yard freestyle events in addition to a first-place finish in the 50-yard backstroke this season. The International Relations major was a main contributor to Simmons' GNAC Championship victory in early December. She tallied 74 points to tie for the most in the two-day meet, while posting personal-best times of 24.70 and 53.60 to capture the GNAC Championship in the 50-yard and 100-yard freestyle events, respectively. Soraghan also added second-place showings in the 200-yard freestyle and 50-yard backstroke with personal-record times of 1:55.85 and 28.61, respectively.
The Sharks are currently 10-2 on the season to register their fifth straight double-digit win campaign and won its 14th straight GNAC Championship in early December. Simmons returns to the pool on Saturday, February 3 when it heads to South Hadley, Mass. to take on Mount Holyoke College at 12:00 p.m. for its final dual meet of the season.