WINTHROP, Mass. – Simmons College's Laura Simpson (Perkiomenville, Pa.) was named the Great Northeast Athletic Conference Women's Swimming & Diving Athlete of the Week for the week of January 29 to February 4, it was announced today by the league.
Simpson earns the award for the second time in her career. She was also tapped for the week of January 23-29, 2017. The accolade has been handed out to a Shark five times this year, including twice to sophomore Aine Scholand (Albuquerque, N.M.) who was named for the weeks of October 16-22 and January 1-7 and junior Jason Erichsen (Banks, Ore.), who was tabbed for the weeks of October 23-29 and November 6-12.
Simpson won all three events that she entered to lead Simmons to a 212-88 victory over host Mount Holyoke College on February 3. The junior began her day by winning the 200-yard freestyle by more than three seconds with a time of 2:01.65 for the Sharks, before dominating the 500-yard freestyle by more than 18 ticks with a mark of 5:24.38. The Boyertown High School product capped the day by touching the wall first in the 200-yard individual medley with a personal-best time of 2:21.93.
An Exercise Science major, Simpson has posted 20 top-three finishes this season and has scored 124 points to rank fifth on the team. She has registered seven individual event victories, including the 200, 500 and 1000-yard freestyle events as well as the 200-yard IM. The third-year swimmer scored 65 points and captured second place in the 500-yard freestyle and 1650-yard freestyle events at the GNAC Championship in early December, while adding a third-place effort in the 200-yard backstroke and a fourth-place showing in the 200-yard freestyle.
Simpson has already established herself as one of the greatest distance swimmers in school history, winning the 500 and 1000-yard freestyle titles at the GNAC Championship in 2016 in addition to the 400-yard IM crown to earn All-Conference status. She owns conference records in both the 400-IM and the 1000-freestyle as well as school standards in both events. Simpson burst onto the collegiate swimming scene as a first year n 2015-16, earning GNAC Rookie of the Year honors as well as becoming just the second swimmer in school history to win multiple events at the New England Intercollegiate Swimming & Diving Association Championship in 2016. Simpson has recorded 74 top-three finishes in her career, including 40 victories.
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 NEISDA Championships, hosted by University of Rhode Island.