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 29 to February 4, it was announced today by the league.
Soraghan earns the honor for a conference-high fifth time after being named previously for the weeks of October 23-29, November 6-12, January 1-7 and 15-21. The Sharks have seen one of their own named the weekly top rookie seven times this season out of 10 reporting periods with first years Haley Summers (Hudson, N.H.) (November 13-19) and Elizabeth Bartlett (Richmond, Mass.) (January 8-14) also receiving the award.
The first year swimmer scored 16 points after recording first, second and third-place finishes in addition to anchoring the Sharks' winning 200-yard freestyle relay to help the team to a 212-88 victory over host Mount Holyoke College on February 3. A graduate of Pinkerton Academy, Soraghan won the 50-yard freestyle for the fourth time this season with a time of 26.17. She also finished second in the 200-yard backstroke with a mark of 2:20.51 and added a third-place effort in the 1000-yard freestyle with a time of 11:14.53. The International Relations major swam the anchor leg of the Simmons 200-yard freestyle relay squad to contribute to a time of 1:44.17 sophomore Laura List (Bedford, Mass.), junior Kerry Fleming (Northampton, Mass.) and classmate Haley Summers (Hudson, N.H.).
Soraghan has been one of the top swimmers for the Sharks all season, scoring 146 points for the third-highest total on the team and the most among team rookies. The New Hampshire native has turned in 21 top-three finishes, including 12 wins and has not lost a 50-yard freestyle race in dual meet or final heat competition all season. She's shown good range in the freestyle events, winning at distances of 100, 200, 500 and 1000 yards this season. Soraghan 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 finished their dual meet season with an 11-2 overall record to record double-digit wins for the fifth straight season and also won their 14th straight GNAC Championship in December. Simmons will compete again Thursday, February 15 when it travels to Kingston, R.I. for the four-day New England Intercollegiate Swimming & Diving Association Championships, hosted by University of Rhode Island.