KINGSTON, R.I. -- The Simmons College women's swimming & diving team won the 800-yard freestyle relay and broke the pool record to open the New England Intercollegiate Swimming & Diving Championship at the Tootell Aquatics Center on the campus of host University of Rhode Island in Kingston, R.I.
The Sharks won the race for the third straight year and posted a time of 7:48.37, which was just two one-hundreths of a second off the school record, but good enough to eclipse the Tootell Aquatics Center standard, which was set by the Seacoast Swimming Association in 1989, by more than half a second. Simmons dominated the event, finishing more than 12 seconds faster than Roger Williams University. The Simmons quartet was sparked by sophomore Aine Scholand (Albuquerque, N.M.), who turned in an opening split of 1:55.27 for the fastest clip of the night. Junior Laura Simpson (Perkiomenville, Pa.) continued the Sharks lead with a split of 1:58.18, while Kerry Fleming (Northampton, Mass.) followed at 1:57:13, before first year Maria Soraghan (East Hampstead, N.H.) closed out the race with a split of 1:57.79.
The Sharks sit in first place with an opening night score of 64 points, followed by Roger Williams at 56 and Eastern Connecticut State University at 54.
Simmons returns to the pool tomorrow morning at 10:00 a.m. to compete in the 200-yard freestyle relay to open the preliminaries.