CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – The Simmons University women's swimming & diving team shattered the meet and school record to win the 800-yard freestyle relay and the only event during the first day of the New England Intercollegiate Swimming & Diving Men's and Women's Championship this evening at the Al '51 and Barrie Zesiger Sports and Fitness Center Pool on the campus of Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, Mass.
The Sharks finished the night with 64 points to stand atop the women's leaderboard, followed by Roger Williams University (56), Keene State College (54), Eastern Connecticut State University (52) and Brandeis University (50) in the top five spots.
Simmons' time of 7:40.31 erased the former championship mark of 7:46.29, set by Williams College in 1995 as well as the NEISDA open standard of 7:45.15, established by Keene State in 2015. The former school record of 7:46.36, which was set during the MIT Invitational on November 30 at the same pool, was held by Scholand, Simpson, first year Sarah Singleton (Mission Hills, Calif.) and Fleming.
The Sharks never trailed in the night's only event with sophomore Maria Soraghan (East Hampstead, N.H.) turning in an opening 200-yard split of 1:56.42, followed by junior Aine Scholand (Albuquerque, N.M.), who set the water on fire with a blistering mark of 1:52.84 to give Simmons a healthy lead after 400 yards. Senior Laura Simpson (Perkiomenville, Pa.) helped maintain the Sharks margin with a time of 1:56.16, before classmate Kerry Fleming (Northampton, Mass.) anchored the record-setting victory with a split of 1:54.89 to finish ahead of Roger Williams by more than 21 seconds.
Simmons has won the 800-yard freestyle in each of the last four years and will return to action for tomorrow morning's preliminaries at 10:00 a.m.