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 February 10-16, it was announced today by the league.
Piernas earns the award for the second time after being tabbed for the week of December 2-8. She becomes the third Shark to earn the accolade multiple times this season, joining classmates Meg Driscoll (Haverhill, Mass.) (October 14-20 and November 11-17) and Katelyn Quinlan (Haverhill, Mass.) (October 21-27 and January 6-12). It marks the first time in school history that three or more competitors have received the top rookie weekly award multiple times in the same season. A Simmons student-athlete has garnered the award six times in 12 reporting periods for the season.
Piernas was the Sharks' highest-scoring rookie at the New England Intercollegiate Swimming & Diving Association Championship with 76 points from February 13-16 at host University of Rhode Island in Kingston, R.I. The first year racked up three top-five finishes, including a fourth-place finish in the 1650-yard freestyle with a time of 18:58.92 to help Simmons post a second-place team finish at the championship meet. The Bolles School (Fla.) graduate turned in a personal-best time of 11:23.94 to finish fifth in the 1000-yard freestyle and also posted a fifth-place showing in the 500-yard freestyle with a mark of 5:29.69.
For the season, Piernas has been one of the top distance swimmers on the team, totaling 19 top-five finishes, including a pair of victories in the 500-yard freestyle. The Granite State native has not finished lower than third in any head-to-head dual meet in freestyle distances from 500 to 1650 this season and placed second in the 1650 and fifth in the 500 two weeks ago at the GNAC Championship. A Biochemistry major, Piernas also counts top-five finishes in the 50-yard freestyle, 200-yard freestyle, 200-yard backstroke, 100 and 200-yard butterfly and the 400-yard individual medley among her successes from the season.
The Sharks will look to compete at the NCAA Championship for the third straight year, pending an invitation for any of their competitors to advance to Greensboro, N.C. on March 18.