Giraldi, Leedham Break School Records;Swimming & Diving Sends 12 to Day Four's NEISDA Championship Final

Giraldi, Leedham Break School Records;Swimming & Diving Sends 12 to Day Four's NEISDA Championship Final

KINGSTON, R.I. -- Senior Natalie Giraldi (Bedford, N.H.) and first year Anna Leedham (Lowell, Mass.) each broke a school record and the Simmons College women's swimming & diving team saw 12 swimmers advance to the New England Intercollegiate Swimming & Diving Association Championship Final following the preliminaries on Day Four this morning at the Tootell Aquatics Center on the campus of host University of Rhode Island in Kingston, R.I.

Giraldi won the 100-yard individual medley prelim, clipping her own school standard by two one-hundreths of a second with a time of 1:01.52, while Leedham erased her own school mark in the 200-yard butterfly with a time of 2:13.39 to place third in the prelims. First year Elizabeth Bartlett (Richmond, Mass.) will join Giraldi in the 100-IM final after placing eighth with a personal-best time of 1:05.20, while junior Charlotte Rivard (Norwood, Mass.) advanced to the consolation final of the event with a personal-record time of 1:06.06 to finish 11th. Leedham leads three Sharks into tonight's 200-butterfly final with senior Michaela Morris (Duxbury, Mass.) placing fifth after recording a time of 2:17.28, followed by junior Kara Smith's (Eastham, Mass.) time of 2:22.22 to place sixth. Senior Lindsay Nichols (Kennebunk, Maine) will compete in the event's consolation final after finishing 11th with a mark of 2:28.88.

Simmons will be well-represented in tonight's 100-yard freestyle final as well, with four heading to the 'A' heat led by sophomore Laura List's (Bedford, Mass.) winning time of 53.80. First year Maria Soraghan (East Hampstead, N.H.) placed second in the event with a time of 54.38, while junior Kerry Fleming (Northampton, Mass.) clocked in at 54.68 just ahead of first year Emily Buttafuoco's (Londonderry, N.H.) personal-best effort of 54.73 to place fourth and fifth, respectively to give the Sharks four of the top five seeds. First year Olivia Walz (Natick, Mass.) earned a spot in the consolation final of the event with a personal-record time of 56.05 to finish 10th. 

Junior Jason Erichsen (Banks, Ore.) qualified for the final in the 200-yard breaststroke with a personal-best time of 2:32.41 to place third, while Walz came right back to finish 10th in the event with a 2:37.26 personal-record showing to finish 10th and advance to the consolation final for Simmons.

The Sharks closed out the swimming portion of the morning by winning the 400-yard freestyle prelim with a combined time of 3:37.39 behind the lead leg of sophomore Aine Scholand (Albuquerque, N.M.), followed by Fleming, Buttafuoco and Soraghan.

First year Sara Manjikian (Belmont, Mass.) scored 337.25 points in the three-meter diving preliminaries with 11 dives, while sophomore Cristina Samaniego (Avon, Conn.) tallied 240.40 points for Simmons.

Scholand will also compete in tonight's 1650-yard freestyle as the top seed, while junior Laura Simpson (Perkiomenville, Pa.) enters the event as the third seed for the Sharks.

Simmons closes out the meet tonight with the finals beginning at 5:30 p.m.