KINGSTON, R.I. - Senior Miriam Swisher (Albuquerque, N.M.) and junior Natalie Giraldi (Bedford, N.H.) each finished first in their respective events to lead the Simmons College women's swimming & diving team in this morning's New England Intercollegiate Swimming & Diving Association Championship Preliminaries at Tootell Aquatic Center on the campus of host University of Rhode Island in Kingston, R.I.
Swisher leads a formidable contingent into tonight's 200-yard freestyle final for the Sharks, finishing first with a time of 1:55.52. Sophomore Kerry Fleming (Northampton, Mass.) will compete as the number two seed after clocking in at 1:57.48. Simmons also sent three swimmers to the consolation finals for the event with senior Sarah Price (New York, N.Y.) finishing 11th on a time of 2:04.59, senior Julie Nguyen (Salem, Mass.) placing 12th at 2:04.91 and sophomore Kara Smith (Eastham, Mass.) placing 15th after hitting the wall at 2:06.09.
Giraldi continued her success in the breaststroke with the top time in the 100-yard race of 1:06.83 to advance to tonight's finals. Sophomore Jason Erichsen (Banks, Ore.) will compete in the event's consolation finals, following a 14th-place showing on a time of 1:13.77.
Fleming capped the morning by finishing second in the 1000-yard freestyle, which was a timed final, with a mark of 10:47.00, while sophomore Laura Simpson (Perkiomenville, Pa.) finished right behind her with a time of 10:48.80 to place third. Senior Emmie Lindholm (Sterling, Mass.) placed 13th with a time of 11:41.64 and sophomore Cassie Vietas (Tampa, Fla.) was right behind with a mark of 11:43.12 to finish 14th.
Junior Michaela Morris (Duxbury, Mass.) finished third in the 50-yard butterfly prelim with a time of 27.26 to earn a spot in the finals, while senior Hannah Plourde (Westfield, Mass.) will compete in the 400-yard individual medley final after placing sixth with a time of 4:52.97. Junior Abigail Gonzalez (Kennesaw, Ga.) advanced to the 400-IM consolation finals after posting a mark of 5:10.30.
First year Laura List (Bedford, Mass.) will compete in the 100-yard backstroke consolation finals following a time of 1:02.91, which was good for 11th in the event.
Simmons began the morning by finishing second in the 200-yard individual medley on the efforts of List (backstroke), Giraldi (breaststroke), Morris (butterfly) and Fleming (freestyle) to combine on a time of 1:50.76 for the second-best effort of the morning.
The Sharks will compete in tonight's finals, starting at 6:00 p.m.