Simmons Swimming and Diving Team in group huddle

Simmons Swimming & Diving Celebrates Historic Win

The Simmons Swimming & Diving team celebrated their first-ever win at the New England Intercollegiate Swimming & Diving Association (NEISDA) Championship on Sunday, February 18 at the University of Rhode Island (URI). Competing against four other regional schools, the Sharks finished the four-day meet with a score of 1504 points. 

Neuroscience and Behavior major, Aine Scholand '20, was named the Swimmer of the Meet after breaking three school and meet records to capture a trio of gold medals in her individual events. Scholand shattered the 22-year old NEISDA record and the 28-year old URI pool record for the 1650-yard freestyle. She is also the second competitor in school history to win three individual gold medals during the NEISDA meet and the only competitor in school history to break three meet records.

Prior to the meet, Scholand was unaware that the meet records were within her reach. "I had a general idea of the times I wanted and what places I wanted to aim for," said Scholand. "When I saw them, I got really excited and started talking strategies with my coach. She made sure I knew I was on pace to break them."  Aine Scholand swimming backstroke

In addition to being named Swimmer of the Meet, Scholand was also named the Great Northeast Athletic Conference Women's Swimming & Diving Athlete of the Week for the week of February 12-18. 

Although she was honored to receive both accolades, Scholand credits her incredible teammates and coaches who encourage her every step of the way. "Having a good team really makes or breaks your experience," said Scholand. "I've been fortunate enough to be surrounded by amazing swimmers who value hard work... I'll always be grateful to them for accepting me as a part of the team."

Overall, Simmons won six individual events and three relays for the meet and saw 14 of its 19 student athletes earn All-NEISDA status by virtue of a top-eight individual finish or top-four relay placing. The Sharks combined to achieve All-NEISDA status 56 times and earned 39 medals with a first, second or third place effort during the meet in addition to breaking eight school records.

Other notable team accomplishments include:

  • Jason Erichsen '19 — 2nd place, School Record in 200-yard breaststroke at 2:26.37
  • Natalie Giraldi '18 — 2nd place, School Record in 100-yard IM at 1:01.19 
  • Maria Soraghan '21 — 2nd place, Personal Best in 100-yard freestyle at 53.89 
  • Anna Leedham '21 — 3rd place in Preliminaries, School Record in 200-yard butterfly at 2:13.39
  • Elizabeth Bartlett '21 — 6th place, Personal Best in 100-yard IM at 1:04.61
  • Lindsay Nichols '18 — 10th place, Personal Best in 200-yard butterfly at 2:26.89

The Sharks are scheduled to attend the Eastern College Athletic Conference Championships at Rutgers University the weekend of February 23-25. 

Photo credit: Mike Broglio

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