CAMBRIDGE, Mass. -- The Simmons University women's swimming & diving team saw eight preliminary entrants qualify for the evening finals of the 2019 New England Intercollegiate Swimming & Diving Association Championship this morning at the Al '51 and Barrie Zesiger Sports and Fitness Center Pool on the campus of Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, Mass.
Senior Kerry Fleming (Northampton, Mass.) led the Sharks effort by highlighting a trio of Simmons swimmers, who finished among the top eight in the 100-yard freestyle preliminary. Fleming swam a personal-record time of 52.82 to earn the top seed in the evening final, while junior Laura List (Bedford, Mass.) placed sixth with a time of 54.78 and sophomore Maria Soraghan (East Hampstead, N.H.) finished seventh at 54.89. Fleming, List and Soraghan will be joined by junior Aine Scholand (Albuquerque, N.M.) to compete in the 400-yard freestyle relay final after posting a top time of 3:33.79 in the morning preliminary.
A pair of Sharks qualified for the final of the 200-yard butterfly as well, following a third-place effort from sophomore Anna Leedham (Lowell, Mass.) on a mark of 2:15.73 and a seventh-place showing on senior Kara Smith's (Eastham, Mass.) time of 2:21.11. Simmons senior Jason Erichsen (Banks, Ore.) secured a spot in the 200-yard breaststroke final after placing fourth in the morning session with a time of 2:30.65, while sophomore Olivia Walz (Natick, Mass.) qualified for the event's consolation final after a 10-place finish on a mark of 2:34.56. Sophomore Elizabeth Bartlett (Richmond, Mass.) finished eighth in the 100-yard individual medley after touching the wall at 1:04.57 for the Sharks.
Junior Haley McCurdy (Framingham, Mass.) clocked in at 19:05.97 in the morning session's 1650-yard freestyle to place first in the consolation final and 11th overall for Simmons. The Sharks will feature Scholand and senior Laura Simpson (Perkiomenville, Pa.) in tonight's 1650-freestyle final.
In the only finals event of the afternoon, sophomore Sara Manjikian (Belmont, Mass.) earned the bronze on the three-meter diving board with a score of 329.85, while junior Cristina Samaniego (Avon, Conn.) placed fifth with a tally of 283.60 and first year Natalie Krieg (Cambridge, Mass.) finished sixth with a score of 274.80 to increase the Simmons team lead heading into the final day's finals events.
The Sharks return for the finals at 5:30 p.m.