WINTHROP, Mass. – Simmons University's Eva Piernas (Hopkinton, N.H.) was named the Great Northeast Athletic Conference Women's Swimming & Diving Rookie of the Week for the week of December 2-8, it was announced today by the league.
Piernas becomes the third Shark to earn Rookie of the Week honors for a combined four times this season. First year Meg Driscoll (Haverhill, Mass.) earned the award for the weeks of October 14-20 and November 11-17, while classmate Katelyn Quinlan (Haverhill, Mass.) was tabbed for the week of October 21-27.
Piernas was the highest-scoring newcomer for Simmons with nine points to help the Sharks to a sixth-place team finish at the three-day MIT Swimming & Diving Winter Invitational from December 6-8. The first year placed 16th to score five points in the 1650-yard freestyle with a time of 18:50.73 to shave more than 24 seconds off her previous best in the event. The New Hampshire native added four more points with a time of 5:23.15 to place 17th in the 500-yard freestyle. Piernas swam a personal-record time of 5:22.32 in the preliminaries of the event. A graduate of The Bolles School in Florida, Piernas swam the second leg of the 800-yard freestyle for Simmons to help the quartet post a time of 8:03.31 to finish 11th in the meet. Piernas also qualified for the meet finals in the 200-yard backstroke with a non-scoring time of 2:27.24 to finish 25th, following a prelims effort that saw her register a career-best mark of 2:25.48. The Biochemistry major also swam the opening backstroke clip of the 200-yard medley relay to contribute to a time of 2:00.30 to place 24th.
For the season, Piernas has been one of the Sharks' top distance swimmers with 12 top-five finishes in dual-meet competition, including a win in the 500-yard freestyle over Westfield State University on October 26. She has finished no lower than fourth in any race over 500 yards this season and also has top-five efforts in the 400-yard individual medley (third), 100-yard butterfly (fourth) and 200-yard backstroke (fifth).
Simmons is currently 3-5 in dual meet competition this season and returns to the pool on January 11 when it heads to New London, N.H. to take on host Colby-Sawyer College and Regis College (Mass.) in a double-dual meet at 12:00 p.m.