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 February 12-18, it was announced today by the league.
The honor marks a conference-high sixth time this season that Soraghan has earned the honor, having previously been named for the weeks of October 23-29, November 6-12, January 1-7 and 15-21 and January 29 to February 4. The Sharks have seen one of their own named the weekly top rookie eight times this season out of 11 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 earned All-NEISDA status in five different events, including all three individual events she entered to helps Simmons win their first-ever New England Intercollegiate Swimming & Diving Championship on February 18. The rookie won the gold medal in the 200-yard freestyle with a time of 1:56.34, while earning a silver medal in the 100-yard freestyle with a mark of 53.89. Soraghan added a bronze-medal effort in the 500-yard freestyle with a personal-record time of 5:09.16. The Pinkerton Academy product also helped the Sharks to a win in the 800-yard freestyle, swimming the anchor leg after sophomore Aine Scholand (Albuquerque, N.M.), junior Laura Simpson (Perkiomenville, Pa.) and junior Kerry Fleming (Northampton, Mass.), to contribute to a time of 7:48.37 and closed the meet by swimming the third leg of the winning 400-yard freestyle for Simmons, joining Scholand, Fleming and sophomore Laura List (Bedford, Mass.) to combine on a time of 3:34.
Soraghan's sixth top rookie honor cements her status as one of the conference's top newcomers and has been one of the top swimmers for Simmons all season, scoring 233 points for the third-highest total on the team and the most among team rookies. The New Hampshire native has turned in 24 top-three finishes, including 13 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 the Sharks' GNAC Championship victory in early December. The International Relations major 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.
Simmons finished its dual meet season with an 11-2 overall record to register double-digit wins for the fifth straight season and also won its 14th straight GNAC Championship in December. The Sharks will compete again on Friday, February 23 as they travel to New Brunswick, N.J. for the three-day Eastern College Athletic Conference Open Championships, hosted by Rutgers University.