CAMBRIDGE, Mass. -- The Simmons University women's swimming & diving team saw seven swimming entrants qualify for tonight's final of the New England Intercollegiate Swimming & Diving Championship following this morning's preliminaries 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 also had seven competitors quality for this evening's consolation final after placing among the top 9-16 finishers.
Simmons junior Aine Scholand (Albuquerque, N.M.) and senior Laura Simpson (Perkiomenville, Pa.) dominated the 500-yard freestyle with Scholand turning in a first-place mark of 5:07.02 and Simpson clocking in at 5:18.67.
Junior Laura List (Bedford, Mass.) and senior Kerry Fleming (Northampton, Mass.) each finished second in their respective events to qualify for tonight's final for the Sharks. List touched the wall at 24.79 in the 50-yard freestyle, while Fleming stretched out to record a touch of 2:10.02 in the 200-yard backstroke. Simmons saw four swimmers advance to the evening session for the 200-yard individual medley, including a pair of finalists. Sophomore Anna Leedham (Lowell, Mass.) posted a mark of 2:16.43 to place seventh and senior Jason Erichsen (Banks, Ore.) was right behind at 2:16.47 to place eighth. Senior Charlotte Rivard (Norwood, Mass.) swam a time of 2:25.23 to finish 13th, while junior Alex Berg-Pappert (Geneva, N.Y.) was a spot behind with a mark of 2:28.34 to advance both to the consolation final.
Senior Cassie Vietas (Tampa, Fla.) placed ninth in the 200-yard backstroke for the Sharks with a time of 2:19.97 to qualify for the consolation final. Senior Kara Smith (Eastham, Mass.) and first year Savana Silva (Groveland, Mass.) each recorded times to put them in the consolation final of the 100-yard butterfly for Simmons. Smith placed 11th at 1:02.89 and Silva posted a mark of 1:03.64. Sophomore Olivia Walz (Natick, Mass.) also advanced to the evening session for the Sharks with a 13th-place effort in the 50-yard freestyle on a time of 25.60 to join the consolation finals.
Simmons sent a pair of relay teams to the evening finals following second-place finishes for each of them. Walz, sophomore Maria Soraghan (East Hampstead, N.H.), List and Fleming combined to register a time of 1:40.27 in the 200-yard freestyle relay, while the quartet of Fleming (backstroke), Erichsen (breaststroke), Leedham (butterfly) and List (freestyle) came together for a mark of 4:08.31 in the 400-yard medley relay.
Sophomore Sara Manjikian (Belmont, Mass.) placed fifth in the one-meter board preliminaries for the Sharks with an 11-dive score of 328.25, while junior Cristina Samaniego (Avon, Conn.) tallied a score of 289.45 to finish seventh and qualify them both for tomorrow's finals. First year Natalie Krieg (Cambridge, Mass.) scored 253.65 points to place ninth.
Simmons returns to action for tonight's finals at 6:00 p.m.