SwimDive Wins 800-yard Freestyle Relay to Take Early Lead at NEISDA Championship

Simmons University swimmer Olivia Walz, Class of 2021

KINGSTON, R.I. -- The Simmons University women's swimming & diving team placed first in the 800-yard freestyle and sits in first place following the opening night of the 2020 Women's New England Intercollegiate Swimming & Diving Association Championship at the Tootell Aquatics Center on the campus of host University of Rhode Island in Kingston, R.I.

The Sharks currently lead the field with 64 points, followed by Keene State College with 56 and Roger Williams University with 54 points.

Simmons won the 800-yard freestyle for the fifth straight year and boasted the only quartet to post a sub-eight minute mark for the race. The Sharks led the race from start to finish after senior Áine Scholand (Albuquerque, N.M.) blazed the trail with an opening 200-yard leg of 1:54.62 to give Simmons a five-plus second lead over Westfield State University. Junior Olivia Walz (Natick, Mass.) extended the Sharks lead with the fastest time for any swimmer in the second 200, touching the wall in 1:59.93 to give Simmons a lead by more than seven seconds with a time of 3:54.55 after 400 yards. Sophomore Sarah Singleton (Mission Hills, Calif.) ensured the Sharks prowess in the event by continuing their speedy trend with the top time in the event's third leg at 1:59.10 to give Simmons a clip of 5:53.65 after 600 yards and an advantage of just under 10 seconds ahead of Keene State. Sophomore Lauren Howard (Abington, Mass.) eased into the anchor leg with a time of 2:03.83 to give the Sharks a winning time of 7:57.48 to finish ahead of Keene State by almost six seconds. 

Simmons returns to the pool tomorrow morning when it competes in the 500-yard freestyle at 10:00 a.m. to begin the preliminaries.