BOSTON, Mass. -- Junior Aine Scholand (Albuquerque, N.M.) shattered the GNAC record in the 1000-yard freestyle by nearly 41 seconds to lead the Simmons University women's swimming & diving team to a first-place standing after Day One of the Great Northeast Athletic Conference Championship this evening at the Holmes Sports Center Natatorium on the campus of Simmons in Boston. Regis (Mass.) holds first place on the men's side.
The top-16 finishers scored in individual events for the women, while the top-eight individual scoring competitors figured in the points on the men's side.
Simmons totaled 141 points for the night, followed by Regis (Mass.) with 104, Norwich University (78), Husson University (68), Elms College (61), Colby-Sawyer College (60), Saint Joseph's College (Maine) (58) and University of Saint Joseph (Conn.) (57). The Regis men finished the evening with 41 points, just ahead of Norwich's mark of 36 and Husson with 32. Elms currently has 26 points and Saint Joseph's (Maine) has 17.
Scholand posted a time of 10:16.71 to supplant the former mark held by senior teammate Laura Simpson (Perkiomenville, Pa.) and also stand as the top time among both the women and men. Simpson placed second in the event with a mark of 10:49.43, while sophomore Maria Soraghan (East Hampstead, N.H.) clocked in at 11:07.83 to give the Sharks the top three finishers in the event. Simmons made it four out of the top five with junior Haley McCurdy (Framingham, Mass.) touching the wall with a personal-record time of 11:19.41 to place fifth.
Simmons opened the first day of competition by winning the 200-yard freestyle relay by less than three tenths of a second over Regis. Sophomore Olivia Walz (Natick, Mass.), opened the race for the Sharks, followed by Soraghan, senior Kerry Fleming (Northampton, Mass.) and junior anchor Laura List (Bedford, Mass.) to combine on a time of 1:42.04. The Regis quartet was right behind at 1:42.30 behind junior Sarah Leonard (Brockton, Mass.), first years Kyleigh Boatwright (Roseville, Calif.) and Alexa Lancisi (Milford, Mass.) and junior Jessica Zernitsky (Newton, Mass.).
Regis and Simmons traded places at the top of the 200-yard medley relay to close out the night. Regis won the race by more than two seconds behind Leonard's opening backstroke, followed by first year Julia Burke (North Andover, Mass.) in the breaststroke, senior Katherine Mariano (Newton, Mass.) in the butterfly and Zernitsky's freestyle anchor to touch the wall at 1:52.69. The Sharks posted a time of 1:54.95 with senior Jason Erichsen (Banks, Ore.), sophomore Elizabeth Bartlett (Richmond, Mass.), first year Sarah Singleton (Mission Hills, Calif.) and Scholand combining on the time.
First year Megan Duffy (Shelton, Conn.) paced the Norwich women with a fourth-place showing in the 1000-yard freestyle for 15 points, while sophomore Thalia Bowie (Lexington, Mass.) was the top individual finisher for Regis with a sixth-place effort for 13 points. First year Erin Aucoin (Brewer, Maine) rounded out the top eight finishers in the 1000-yard freestyle as Husson's top scorer with 11 points.
Sophomore Grant Kollien (Acton, Mass.) topped the field in the men's 1000-yard freestyle with a time of 10:29.69 to win the event by more than 22 seconds. The race's top four finishers were all from different school's including Saint Joseph's freshman Ryan Watson (Bangor, Maine), who placed second at 10:51.84, edging out Norwich sophomore Sam Carlson's (Dedham, Maine) mark of 10:53.18. Elms was paced by a fourth-place showing from freshman Michael Losardo (Pittsfield, Mass.) on a mark of 11:39.51.
Husson opened the meet on the men's side with a win in the 200-yard freestyle relay, courtesy of the freshmen trio of Steven Johnston (Hermon, Maine), Dan Egan (Foxborough, Mass.) and Joe Vail (Saco, Maine) and sophomore Tom Cote's (Saco, Maine) combined mark of 1:32.51 to clip the Regis contingent of freshman GianCarlos Banrey (Roslindale, Mass.), Kollien, freshman Kevin Dugue (Roslindale, Mass.) and senior Connor Schwarze (Melrose, Mass.) by under a second.
Regis capped the night as its women did – with a victory in the 200-yard medley relay -- behind Dugue in the backstroke, senior Joshua Unas (Santa Clarita, Calif.) in the breastroke, GianCarlos in the butterfly and Schwarze in the anchor freestyle as part of a time of 1:42.47 to win by half a second over Norwich. The Cadets were led by junior Austen Greene (Herndon, Va.), followed by senior Dylan Henderson (Commerce Township, Mich.), junior Alex DiGiacomo (Norfolk, Mass.) and junior Harrison Brock (Alexandria, Va.).
Day Two of the GNAC Championship will begin at 10:30 a.m. with the preliminaries at the Holmes Sports Center.