Manjikian Breaks Own GNAC Mark on 3M Board to Lead Simmons to First Place on Day One of SwimDive Championship

Simmons University diver Sara Manjikian Class of 2021

WELLESLEY, Mass. – Junior Sara Manjikian (Belmont, Mass.) broke her own conference record on the three-meter board to lead the Simmons University women's swimming & diving team to a first-place showing following Day One of the 2020 Great Northeast Athletic Conference Swimming & Diving Championship. Two women's records total were broken, while a men's standard fell as well at the Boston Sports Institute Natatorium in Wellesley, Mass. Simmons leads the meet with 193 points, while Norwich University topped all schools on the men's side with 68 points. 

Norwich currently stands in second on the women's side with 126 points, followed by Colby-Sawyer College (117), Husson University (113), Regis College (Mass.) (108), University of Saint Joseph (Conn.) (100), Albertus Magnus College (82), Elms College (77) and Saint Joseph's College (Maine) (60). 

Regis is the day one runner-up for the men with 52 points, followed by Saint Joseph with 45, Husson with 41, Saint Joseph's with 28 and Elms with 24. 

Diving records for both the men and women fell on the three-meter board in competition that was hosted at the Holmes Sports Center Natatorium on the campus of Simmons. Manjikian topped her own conference record of 211.95 points by scoring an even 225 points. Sophomore Sarah Carls placed second for Norwich on the women's side with a score of 188.60, while Simmons sophomore Natalie Krieg (Cambridge, Mass.) was just three points behind to place third with a mark of 185.60. 

Freshman diver Jack Brennan (Hopkinton, Mass.) tallied 252.80 points to shatter the former GNAC mark of 152.35, set by Norwich diver Jason Budde in 2013. Saint Joseph took second and third for the men with freshman Zachary Nielsen (Berlin, Conn.) scoring 163.20 points and freshman David Kavanaugh (West Hartford, Conn.) totaling 99.40 points, respectively. 

Simmons began the meet by winning the 200-yard freestyle relay in GNAC-record time with a clip of 1:39.29 to supplant the former mark held by Regis by almost two seconds. Sophomore Lauren Howard (Abington, Mass.) led off the race, followed by junior Olivia Walz (Natick, Mass.), senior Áine Scholand (Albuquerque, N.M.) and senior anchor Laura List (Bedford, Mass.)

Norwich edged out Husson by just over a half second to win the men's final in the 200-yard freestyle relay with senior Austen Greene (Herndon, Va.), leading off, followed by classmate Harrison Brock (Alexandria, Va.), sophomore Brian Parrott (Londonderry, N.H.) and senior Alex DiGiacomo (Norfolk, Mass.) to combine on a time of 1:30.40. 

Regis took victory by less than a tick of the clock in the 200-yard medley relay behind senior Sarah Leonard's (Brockton, Mass.) lead backstroke, followed by sophomore Julia Burke (North Andover, Mass.) in the breaststroke, sophomore Alexa Lancisi's (Milford, Mass.) butterfly and senior Jessica Zernitsky's (Newton, Mass.) freestyle anchor leg to post a time of 1:52.97.

Norwich's men took its second relay of the night, behind the same quartet as Greene (backstroke), Brock (breaststroke), DiGiacomo (butterfly) and Parrott (freestyle) teamed for a mark of 1:41.41. 

Colby-Sawyer first year Rebecca Lee (Redding, Conn.) outlasted the field in the 1650-yard freestyle by almost 20 seconds with a winning time of 18:35.97, while Simmons rookie Eva Piernas (Hopkinton, N.H.) placed second with a time of 18:57.08. Senior Haley McCurdy (Framingham, Mass.) followed her teammate with a time of 19:12.63 to finish third in the race for the Sharks. 

Sophomore Brendan Pike (Weymouth, Mass.) touched the wall first for Regis in the 1650 with a time of 17:02.34, while junior teammate Grant Kollien (Acton, Mass.) placed second with a time of 18:08.40. Saint Joseph's sophomore Ryan Watson (Bangor, Maine) finished less than six seconds behind with a mark of 18:14.17 to place third. 

The GNAC Championship resumes tomorrow when Day Two preliminaries begin at 10:30 a.m.