WESTFIELD, Mass. - The Simmons College swimming & diving team defeated host Westfield State University, 174-117, this afternoon in Westfield, Mass. to open the season. The Sharks improve to 1-0 on the season, while the Owls fall to 0-1.
The Sharks won both relay events and earned victories in nine individual events, including three double-winners.
Junior Michaela Morris (Duxbury, Mass.) helped Simmons to an opening-relay win, swimming the butterfly leg of the 200-yard medley relay. First year Laura List (Bedford, Mass.) made her collegiate debut swimming the opening backstroke leg of the relay event, before giving way to junior Natalie Giraldi's (Bedford, N.H.) breaststroke leg. Senior Sarah Price (New York, N.Y.) hit the wall in the finishing freestyle leg to give the Sharks a winning mark of 1:57.44.
Morris went on to win the 100-yard butterfly with a time of 1:04.67 and added the 50-yard butterfly for her second win and a team-high 18 points for the day. Her time was 29.09. Senior Miriam Swisher (Albuquerque, N.M.) also won a pair of events for Simmons. She placed first in the 50-yard backstroke with a time of 28.58 and clocked in at 55.28 to win the 100-yard freestyle. List was also a two-time victor for the Sharks. The rookie won the 50-yard freestyle in 26.34, just ahead of Giraldi's time of 26.49, and later won the 100-yard backstroke with a mark of 1:05.50.
Giraldi won the 100-yard breaststroke earlier in the meet with a time of 1:12.11 as part of a 13-point effort for the afternoon. Sophomore Kerry Fleming (Northampton, Mass.) also scored 13 points for Simmons, winning the 500-yard freestyle with a time of 5:35.97 and also finished second in the 200-yard freestyle with a time of 2:03.56 to Westfield State sophomore Shannon Fitzsimmons (Andover, Mass.), who clocked in at 2:03.03.
Fitzsimmons was the leading scorer for the meet with 22 points. She also won the 100-yard individual medley for the Owls with a clip of 1:07.87. She finished second to Giraldi in the 100-yard breaststroke with a time of 1:12.88. Junior Tia Pariseau (Holden, Mass.) earned first place with a time of 32.74 in the 50-yard breaststroke for Westfield State and also finished second in the 100-yard freestyle on a time of 59.66. She scored her 14th point of the day with a fifth-place showing in the 100-yard breaststroke.
Sharks' sophomore Laura Simpson (Perkiomenville, Pa.) cruised to a 43-second win in the 1000-yard freestyle with a time of 11:22.23 in the first individual swimming event of the afternoon. She capped the meet by helping Simmons win the 200-yard freestyle relay. Swisher led off the event, followed by sophomore Kara Smith (Eastham, Mass.), Simpson and first year Frances Humphrey (McKinney, Texas), who swam the closing leg to give the Sharks the win at 1:49.85.
Westfield State won both diving events, behind sophomore Monique Groux (Agawam, Mass.). Groux won the first one-meter diving event with a score of 155.10, before winning the second one-meter showing later in the meet with a score of 230.85. Sharks first year diver Cristina Samaniego (Avon, Conn.) placed second in the opening one-meter event with a score of 123.10 and racked up 157 points in the second event to place second as well. Junior Rebecca McCune (Hatboro, Pa.) finished third in the second one-meter board event with a score of 106.00 for Simmons.
The Sharks return to the pool for a double-dual home meet vs. Gordon College and Elms College at the Holmes Sports Center at 11:00 a.m., while the Owls compete at the Smith College relays in Northampton, Mass. on the same day at 10:00 a.m.