FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Courtesy of Simmons Athletics Communications
BOSTON, Mass. – The Simmons College women’s swimming & diving team leads the 2017 Women’s Great Northeast Athletic Conference Swimming & Diving Championship, while Norwich University leads the Men’s Championship Meet after the first day of competition at the Holmes Sports Center Natatorium on the campus of host Simmons in Boston, Mass.
The Championship meet continues on Sunday at 9:30 a.m. with the second day of preliminaries at the Holmes Sports Center.
Simmons won seven of 11 events and earned the top two spots in three events to contribute to a score of 579 points to lead second-place Regis (Mass.) (277.5), while the Norwich men’s tally of 186 also leads Regis (Mass.) 86. The Cadets won five events during the evening finals.
Colby-Sawyer College’s women sit in third place with 239 points, followed by Norwich (177), Saint Joseph’s College (Maine) (170.5), Husson University (134), University of Saint Joseph (Conn.) (117) and Elms College (69). The Elms men have a hold on third place with a score of 55 points, followed by Saint Joseph’s College (Maine) (50), Colby-Sawyer (38) and Husson (33).
Eight conference records fell during the day, including five on the women’s side and four Holmes Sports Center Natatorium standards.
Simmons’ sophomore Aine Scholand (Albuquerque, N.M.) and senior Michaela Morris (Duxbury, Mass.) led the Sharks with a pair of first place showings for 40 points, while Norwich sophomore Elaine Dudley (North Waterboro, Maine) topped all competitors with 51 points on first, third and fourth-place showings. Simmons junior Laura Simpson (Perkiomenville, Pa.) posted the most individual points for the Sharks with 48, following second, third and fourth place efforts for the day, as one of seven of the meet’s top-10 scorers for the host school.
Scholand enjoyed a pair of record-setting performances, dominating the 500-yard freestyle by shattering the conference and pool record by more than 10 seconds and erasing the Simmons mark by almost seven seconds with a time of 5:01.81 to finish ahead of Simpson, who placed second for the Sharks. Scholand’s second milestone effort came with a 1:55.43 mark in the 200-yard freestyle to clip the GNAC and pool record and finish ahead of Simmons first year Maria Soraghan’s (East Hampstead, N.H.)second-place swim. Morris owned the butterfly events for Simmons, breaking her own school, conference and pool record in the 50-yard race with a time of 26.78. Morris claimed victory in the 100-yard event on a time of 1:01.56 to clip first year teammate Anna Leedham (Lowell, Mass.) Soraghan added a first-place effort to her night as well, winning the 50-yard freestyle with a time of 24.70 for 20 of her 37 points to place her as the fifth-leading point-scorer for the meet.
Dudley finished first in the 200-yard individual medley with a time of 2:12.69 for Norwich, before placing third in the 200-yard freestyle and fourth in the 200-yard backstroke.
Regis (Mass.) opened the finals by winning the 200-yard freestyle relay with a conference-record time of 1:41.25 behind the lead leg of senior Jessica Higgins (Peabody, Mass.), followed by sophomores Jessica Zernitsky (Newton, Mass.) and Sarah Leonard (Brockton, Mass.) and senior Ashlyn DeRoche (North Reading, Mass.).
Simmons senior Natalie Giraldi (Bedford, N.H.) out-touched Husson senior Lara Sarett (Smithtown, N.Y.) by just six one-hundreths of a second with a time of 1:07.24 in a furious finish to the 100-yard breaststroke. Giraldi also placed third in the 50-yard freestyle for a total of 36 points, which matched Higgins’ total for Regis. Higgins scored a first place finish in the 200-yard backstroke with a mark of 2:14.53 to add to her third-place 16-point finish in the 100-yard butterfly.
The day’s ninth individual first place-effort came on the one-meter diving board, where sophomore Elisabeth McQuaid dazzled with an 11-dive score of 381.70 points to set a new conference and pool record. Simmons first year Sara Manjikian (Belmont, Mass.) placed second with a tally of 366.95.
Simpson placed second in the 500-yard freestyle, third in the 200-yard backstroke and fourth in the 200-yard freestyle for Simmons as part of her team-high score, while Zernitsky took second in the 50-yard freestyle and third in the 50-yard butterfly for Regis as the meet’s ninth-leading scorer with 33 points.
Simmons closed out the night for the women with a win in the 400-yard medley relay, fueled by the lead backstroke leg from Soraghan, Giraldi’s breaststroke, Leedham on the butterfly and Scholand on the freestyle anchor to combine for a time of 4:07.30.
First year Jinnae Jang (Fall River, Mass.) led Colby-Sawyer with 31 points for 11th in the meet on a second-place effort in the 50-yard butterfly and fifth in the 50-yard freestyle to match Sarett, who led Husson with a second-place showing and a fifth-place finish in the 100-yard butterfly.
First year Rose Baillie (Cape Elizabeth, Maine) topped the scoring effort for Saint Joseph’s (Maine) with 28.5 points, fueled by a fourth-place finish in the 100-yard breaststroke and Elms was paced by first year Brittany North (Palmer, Mass.) with 22 points on a pair of eight-place finishes in the 200-yard backstroke and 200-yard individual medley. University of Saint Joseph (Conn.) junior Gabriella Alberino (East Haven, Conn.) led the Blue Jays with 20 points.
Norwich’s men claimed six of the top 10 individual scorers of the meet, including first year Michael Pearce (Lutherville-Timonium, Md.), who won a pair of events to tally 18 points. Regis senior Nick Rainville (Reading, Mass.) was the only other competitor to win a pair of events and also set two records on the night. Pearce won the first individual event by winning the 500-yard freestyle with a time of 4:48.90 to shave more than three seconds off the GNAC record and later added a win in the 200-yard freestyle, by more than seven seconds, with a mark of 1:46.08. He closed out the meet as the freestyle anchor leg on the 400-yard individual medley relay for the Cadets. First year Joseph Clark (Acworth, Ga.) opened with the backstroke, followed by junior Dylan Henderson’s (Commerce Township, Mich.) breaststroke and sophomore Alex DiGiacomo’s (Norfolk, Mass.) butterfly to post a time of 3:44.71.
Rainville also helped the Regis squad to a relay victory to open the men’s finals, swimming the lead leg of the 200-yard freestyle relay ahead of first year Diego Colindres (Newton, Mass.), junior Joshua Unas (Santa Clarita, Calif.) and senior Lawrence Reynolds (Hyde Park, Mass.) for a combined mark of 1:30.52. Rainville’s opening 21.27 50-freestyle split was good for a GNAC record. He added the GNAC standard in the 100-yard butterfly with a time of 51.27, before winning the 50-yard butterfly as well with a time of 23.27
Clark joined teammate sophomore Will Micali (Brentwood, N.H.) with the third-highest score of the meet (16), fueled by a first-place effort in the 200-yard backstroke on a time of 2:03.25 to outpace the field by more than eight seconds. Clark also finished second in the 500-yard freestyle, while Micali placed third in the 200-yard individual medley and fourth in both the 200 and 500-yard freestyle events.
Unas joined Rainville as a winner for Regis with a first-place showing in the 200-yard individual medley after clocking in at 2:03.77 in the 200-yard individual medley. He later added a second-place finish in the 100-yard breaststroke to contribute to his 16 points.
Senior Nick Bergstrom (Derry, N.H.) led Elms with a first-place effort in the 50-yard freestyle on a time of 22.34 and also scored points on a third-place effort in the 50-yard butterfly.
Senior Mason Amitrano (West Greenwich, R.I.) won the only finals event he competed in for Colby-Sawyer with a time of 1:02.42 to out-touch Unas. Senior Chris Danieli (Chelmsford, Mass.) racked up 421.80 points to top the field on the one-meter board for Norwich, while Husson first year Colby King (Natick, Mass.) finished with 303.00 points to place second.
Junior Stephen Quinlan (Andover, Mass.) led Saint Joseph’s (Maine) with eight points after placing fourth in the 200-yard individual medley and sixth in the 100-yard breaststroke, while first year Kyle Urban (North Babylon, N.Y.) finished third on the one-meter diving board and seventh in the 100-yard breaststroke to notch eight points to lead Husson.