BOSTON, Mass. – The Simmons College women's swimming and diving team won its 12th straight Great Northeast Athletic Conference Championship and the 14th in the last 15 years this evening at the Holmes Sports Center Natatorium on the campus of Simmons in Boston, Mass. The Norwich University men's team won the GNAC Invitational for the fifth consecutive year.
The Sharks tallied 1194 points, while Saint Joseph's College (Maine) finished second with 402 points. Norwich won the invitational with 324 to outscore Regis College's men, which recorded 240 points.
A total of 10 more GNAC records were broken on the night, between the women's and men's teams, including three individual and two relay marks for each gender.
Junior Miriam Swisher (Albuquerque, N.M.) won a pair of events for Simmons with a win in the 100-yard freestyle with a time of 53.05 and a victory in the 50-yard backstroke after clocking in at 27.82 to win by more than two seconds. Sophomore Natalie Giraldi (Bedford, N.H.), first year Laura Simpson (Perkiomenville, Pa.) and sophomore Michaela Morris (Duxbury, Mass.) all set individual GNAC records for the Sharks. Giraldi broke her own conference and pool mark in the 50-yard breaststroke with a time of 31.13 and also placed second in the 200-yard breaststroke to score 37 points for the night. Simpson shattered the school and league championship record for the 1650-yard freestyle with a time of 17:58.42 to erase the GNAC standard by almost 58 seconds and eclipse the former school record set by Keri-Ann Arsenault in 2006 by nearly 39 seconds. Simpson also placed third in the 100-yard freestyle for Simmons. Morris set her third GNAC butterfly record of the championship meet with a time of 2:18.91 in the 200-yard fly to win the race by almost 12 seconds. She also finished third in the 100-yard backstroke to give her 76 points for the entire meet to match Simpson for the most points in the two-day meet.
Junior Jordan Mattheisen (Seattle, Wash.) placed in three events for the Sharks to rack up 42 points to lead all competitors for the night. She placed fourth in the 50-yard breaststroke, fifth in the 100-yard freestyle and sixth in the 200-yard breaststroke. First year Kerry Fleming (Northampton, Mass.) and junior Alison Gauvin (Whitefield, Maine) each turned in first place efforts for Simmons. Fleming won the 100-yard individual medley with a time of 1:03.45 and added a second-place finish in the 100-yard freestyle, while Gauvin earned the top score in the three-meter diving event with a score of 159.55. Fleming scored 74 points to mirror Giraldi as the Sharks' third-leading scorers for the meet.
Simmons began and ended the night with a GNAC-record showings in relay events. The Sharks won 200-yard medley relay on a time of 1:51.58 with Swisher swimming the backstroke leg, followed by Giraldi's breaststroke leg, Morris' butterfly effort and Fleming's freestyle anchor leg. The Sharks posted a conference-record mark of 3:45.59 in the 400-yard freestyle with Simpson setting the pace, followed by junior Julie Nguyen (Salem, Mass.), Mattheisen and Swisher.
Sophomore Lara Sarett (Smithtown, N.Y.) won the 200-yard breaststroke with a time of 2:32.67 and placed second in the 50-yard breaststroke tally 37 points to lead Husson University to a fifth-place finish with 370 points. Sarett was the meet's third-leading scorer for the two days with 74 points. Regis was led by 34 points from first year Molly Belles (Scranton, Pa.), who earned a pair of second-place efforts in the 50 and 100-yard backstroke, respectively. Sophomore Jessica Higgins (Peabody, Mass.) placed first in the 100-yard backstroke with a time of 1:02.46 for the Pride and finished the weekend with 56 points to top Regis, which finished third as a team with 399 points. First year Veronika Latawiec (Newington, Conn.) placed third in the 50-yard backstroke for University of Saint Joseph (Conn.) and fourth in the 100-yard backstroke to record a team-high 31 points and finished as the meet's ninth-highest scorer with 61 points overall. The Blue Jays finished fourth in the meet with 390 points.
Norwich's men boasted a pair of swimmers, who each placed first and second during the night for 16 points apiece. First year Jacob Rubin (Johns Creek, Ga.) won the 100-yard freestyle with a mark of 48.08 and placed second in the 100-yard individual medley, while junior Ryan Hanley (Wiscasset, Maine) led the field with a time of 56.34 in the 100-yard backstroke. He also posted a second-place finish in the 50-yard backstroke. First year Dylan Henderson (Commerce Township, Mich.) finished second in the 50-yard breaststroke as part of a 16-point night for the Cadets.
Regis' junior Kiet Luong (Malden, Mass.) added two more GNAC records to bring his total to a maximum of four for the weekend. He won the 50-yard backstroke in 24.51 after taking the 100-yard individual medley with a mark of 54.30. Junior Bryan Johnson (Sudbury, Mass.) placed first in the 200-yard breaststroke for Regis with a time of 2:18.07 and added a fourth-place effort in the 100-yard freestyle. Luong and Johnson were part of the team's GNAC record-breaking 200-yard medley relay squad in addition to sophomore Nick Rainville (Reading, Mass.) and junior Cassidy Bastianelli (Newton, Mass.). The Pride also won the 400-yard freestyle relay in GNAC-record fashion with Luong, Rainville, Johnson and Bastianelli putting together a time of 3:18.35.
Elms College scored 131 points as a team to finish third and was led by junior Ryan Burgos (Plaistow, N.H.) with 27 points to tie for fifth in the entire meet. He won the night's 1650-yard freestyle with a GNAC-record time of 17:35.01 and also finished fifth in the 100-yard backstroke. Junior Ben Johnson (Belmont, Mass.) led Saint Joseph's College with a 200-yard butterfly time of 2:07.76 to earn first place and help the Monks to 58 points to place fifth. Husson junior Grant Gerber (Portland, Maine) won the only event he entered, clocking in at 29.46 to claim the 50-yard breaststroke. The team finished fourth with 59 points.