KINGSTON, R.I. -- First year Maria Soraghan (East Hampstead, N.H.) won the 200-yard freestyle final to lead the Simmons College women's swimming & diving team this evening on Day Three of 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 finished the day in second place for the meet with a score of 996 points, while Roger Williams University leads with 1040.
Soraghan led a large Simmons showing in the 200-yard freestyle and touched the wall first for her first NEISDA individual title with a time of 1:56.34. Junior Laura Simpson (Perkiomenville, Pa.) was just 1.4 tenths of a second behind at 1:56.48 to finish second and register a personal-record time. Junior Kerry Fleming (Northampton, Mass.) turned in a time of 1:59.30 to place sixth, while first year Emily Buttafuoco (Londonderry, N.H.) recorded a mark of 1:59.82 to finish seventh.
The Sharks began the night with a thrilling victory in the 200-yard medley relay, winning by two tenths of a second behind Buttafuoco's opening backstroke leg, followed by seniors Natalie Giraldi (Bedford, N.H.) and Michaela Morris (Duxbury, Mass.), who each delivered the fastest split times of the race in their respective strokes (breaststroke and butterfly), before sophomore Laura List (Bedford, Mass.) raced to the finish on the freestyle anchor leg to turn in a combined time of 1:48.06.
Morris, List and Giraldi later placed second in their respective events for Simmons with Morris clocking in at 26.88 in the 50-yard butterfly and List recording the fastest second 50 yards of the 100-yard backstroke to post a personal-record time of 59.89, which was just 1.1 tenths of a second off first place. Giraldi was edged in the 100-yard breaststroke, placing second with a time of 1:06.41 with first year Elizabeth Bartlett (Richmond, Mass.) also placing in the event with a time of 1:10.19 to finish seventh.
Junior Jason Erichsen (Banks, Ore.) registered a personal-record mark of 1:09.23 to win the 100-yard breaststroke consolation final and place ninth overall, while junior Kara Smith (Eastham, Mass.) and sophomore Haley McCurdy (Framingham, Mass.) scored points in the consolation final with strong efforts in the 200-yard freestyle for the Sharks. Smith posted a personal-best time of 2:04.02 to finish second in the consolation final and 10th overall and McCurdy smashed her personal-record time with a 2:04.50 effort to place fourth in the race and 12th overall.
The night's action followed Simmons sophomore Aine Scholand's (Albuquerque, N.M.) historic effort in the 1000-yard freestyle timed final earlier in the day. She posted a time of 10:09.47 to top the field in the morning's only timed final by more than 47 seconds, while erasing the former NEISDA standard of 10:29.19 set by Keene State College's Hope Walsh at last year's championship meet. The time also shattered the former school mark of 10:36.33 set by Simpson in 2017. The Sharks scored on the diving board as well following the morning swimming preliminaries with first year Sara Manjikian (Belmont, Mass.) finishing fourth with 357.80 points and sophomore Cristina Samaniego (Avon, Conn.) placing fifth with a score of 296.00 points.
Simmons returns to the pool tomorrow for the final day of the championship meet beginning at 10:00 a.m.