CAMBRIDGE, Mass. -- Junior Aine Scholand (Albuquerque, N.M.) led all point-scorers, while helping the Simmons University women's swimming & diving team to a sixth-place finish this evening at the MIT Swimming & Diving Winter Invitational at the Al '51 and Barrie Zesiger Sports and Fitness Center Pool in Cambridge, Mass.
The Sharks scored 415 points to finish sixth in the three-day meet, just nine points behind Wellesley College. Tufts University won the team championship with 1777 points, while host Massachusetts Institute of Technology tallied 1684 points to place second.
Scholand scored 71 points and registered her third top-four finish of the meet when she clocked in at 5:04.82 to finished second in the 500-yard freestyle for the Sharks. Scholand later placed 14th in the 100-yard freestyle with a mark of 54.45. Senior Kerry Fleming (Northampton, Mass.) was the team's second-leading scorer wtih 52 for the meet. She competed in all five relays and was the only Simmons swimmer to improve her prelim time in all six of her individual events in finals competition. Fleming finished the meet by placing ninth in the 200-yard backstroke with a time of 2:10.07 and placed just ahead of Scholand in the 100-yard freestyle with a mark of 54.35. She also placed 14th in the 500-yard freestyle, clocking in at 5:17.60. Senior Laura Simpson (Perkiomenville, Pa.) tallied 43 points for the meet and touched the wall at 5:19.88 to finish ninth in the 'A' final of the 500-freestyle for her fourth top-15 finish of the weekend.
Senior Jason Erichsen (Banks, Ore.) was the only other Shark to improve on every individual event time in the finals from the prelims with better marks in all five individual events entered. Erichsen placed first in the 'B' final and 11th overall in the 200-yard breaststroke with a time of 2:31.11 and showed a five-plus second improvement in the 200-yard individual medley later in the meet. Sophomore Olivia Walz (Natick, Mass.) also scored in the 200-yard breaststroke with a 16th-place showing on a time of 2:35.39.
First year Sarah Singleton (Mission Hills, Calif.) swam in four individual events for the night, highlighted by a 12th-place effort in the 200-yard individual medley with a time of 2:14.87 in addition to placing 15th in the 200-yard backstroke with a mark of 2:13.54. The rookie also placed 20th in the 100-yard butterfly with a time of 1:01.57 and later competed in the 100-yard freestyle as one of six individual events and 11 total events that she swam in during the meet.
Junior Laura List (Bedford, Mass.) led the trio of Simmons swimmers, who placed among the top-14 in the 100-yard freestyle, with a time of 54.18 to finish 12th in the race. Sophomore Anna Leedham (Lowell, Mass.) also contributed with a time of 2:22.65 to place 20th in the 200-yard IM.
The Sharks opened the night by placing 12th in the 200-yard medley relay behind Fleming in the opening backstroke leg, Erichsen in the breaststroke, Singleton in the butterfly and List in the freestyle to combine for a time of 1:52.90. Simmons later closed the meet with a fifth-place effort in the 400-yard freestyle relay on a time of 3:36.02 with Scholand, Singleton, List and Fleming competing for the Sharks. Simmons' second quartet placed 15th in the 400-yard freestyle relay behind sophomores Maria Soraghan (East Hampstead, N.H.), Walz, Emily Buttafuoco (Londonderry, N.H.) and Simpson with a time of 3:43.78.
The Sharks return to the pool in 2019 when they head to Weston, Mass. to take on host Regis (Mass.) and Colby-Sawyer College in a double-dual meet on Saturday, January 12 at Noon.