PISCATAWAY, N.J. -- The Simmons College women's swimming & diving team's 800-yard freestyle relay finished seventh this evening at the Eastern College Athletic Conference Open Swimming & Diving Championship at the Rutgers Aquatics Center on the campus of host Rutgers University in Piscataway, N.J.
The Sharks opened and closed the night by scoring in both relays and stands in 12th place with 73 points and owns a nine-point margin over North Carolina State University.
Simmons was the highest finishing school among Division III squads in the 800-yard freestyle relay with a time of 7:53.18. First year Maria Soraghan (East Hampstead, N.H.) opened the race for the Sharks, followed by juniors Laura Simpson (Perkiomenville, Pa.) and Kerry Fleming (Northampton, Mass.) and sophomore Aine Scholand (Albuqerque, N.M.) on the anchor leg.
Simmons opened the night with a fourth-place showing in the 200-yard medley relay, which was good for 12th overall. Soraghan led off with the backstroke leg, before senior Natalie Giraldi's (Bedford, N.H.) breaststroke clip and classmate Michaela Morris (Duxbury, Mass.) swimming the butterfly leg. Sophomore Laura List (Bedford, Mass.) swam the final 50-yards on the freestyle anchor to complete a combined time of 1:51.85.
In the morning preliminaries, Giraldi turned in a 22nd-place effort in the 100-yard breaststroke with a time of 1:06.88, while junior Jason Erichsen (Banks, Ore.) hit the wall at 1:09.06 to finish 36th. First year Elizabeth Bartlett (Richmond, Mass.) recorded a time of 1:10.81 to finish 41st. Scholand placed 24th in the 200-yard freestyle with a time of 1:57.36, while Simpson finished 32nd at 1:59.38 and first year Emily Buttafuoco (Londonderry, N.H.) placed 34th with a time of 2:00.02. Fleming, Soraghan and List all finished within a second of each other in the 100-yard backstroke with Fleming clocking in at 1:02.20 to place 37th just ahead of Soraghan at 1:02.27. List was two spots behind with a time of 1:03.04 to finish 40th.
The Sharks return to action tomorrow at 10 a.m. for the final day of the meet.