CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Senior Kerry Fleming (Northampton, Mass.) won her second individual gold to help the Simmons University women's swimming & diving team pull back into first place after Day Three of the New England Intercollegiate Swimming & Diving Association Championship 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 reclaimed the lead earlier in the day following the morning's 1000-yard freestyle final and the one-meter diving event and added to their margin, putting 101.5 points between themselves and current runner-up Roger Williams University. Simmons has 972.5 points, while the Hawks stand with 871, followed by Brandeis University with 754.
Fleming led a formidable contingent of Sharks in the 200-yard freestyle final, clocking in at 1:55.79 to out-touch Keene State College senior Katie Brandeberry by five one-hundreths of a second and win the event. Her victory highlighted a quartet of Simmons swimmers who finished among the race's top six. Senior Laura Simpson (Perkiomenville, Pa.) placed third with a time of 1:56.08, while sophomore Maria Soraghan (East Hampstead, N.H.) was right behind at 1:57.52 to finish fourth. Classmate Olivia Walz (Natick, Mass.) capped the race for the Sharks with a sixth-place effort on a time of 1:59.20. Simmons scored points in the event's consolation final as well with senior Kara Smith (Eastham, Mass.) placing second in the race and 10th overall with a mark of 2:02.93 and junior Haley McCurdy (Framingham, Mass.) finished 13th overall with a time of 2:05.73.
Junior Laura List (Bedford, Mass.) just missed a spot on the medal stand in the 100-yard backstroke final for the Sharks, finishing four one-hundreths of a second out of third with a time of 1:00.55. Senior Cassie Vietas (Tampa, Fla.) placed fourth in the event's consolation final and 12th overall with a time of 1:05.09 for Simmons. Sophomore Elizabeth Bartlett (Richmond, Mass.) posted a time of 1:10.16 to finish sixth in the 100-yard breaststroke final, while senior Jason Erichsen (Banks, Ore.) won the event's consolation final to place ninth overall with a time of 1:09.07 for the Sharks.
Simmons began the evening finals with a fourth-place effort in the 200-yard medley relay behind List's lead backstroke, Erichsen in the breaststroke, sophomore Anna Leedham's (Lowell, Mass.) 50-yard butterfly clip and junior Aine Scholand's (Albuquerque, N.M.) anchor freestyle to combine on a time of 1:51.59.
The Sharks saw a pair of swimmers place in the 400-yard individual medley consolation final, led by Leedham's time of 4:51.97 to finish second in the race and 10th overall, while junior Alex Berg-Pappert (Geneva, N.Y.) clocked in at 5:17.37 to finish 15th overall. First year Savana Silva (Groveland, Mass.) registered a mark of 28.32 to finish sixth in the 50-yard butterfly consolation final and 14th overall.
Simmons returns to the pool tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. for the day four preliminaries.