FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Courtesy of Simmons Athletics Communications
BOSTON, Mass. – The Simmons University women’s swimming & diving team won its 15th straight Great Northeast Athletic Conference Swimming & Diving Championship, while the Norwich University men took home the GNAC men’s title on Sunday evening at the Holmes Sports Center Natatorium on the campus of host Simmons in Boston, Mass.
The Sharks have now won 17 of the last 18 GNAC crowns. Simmons tallied 1196 points for the three-day meet to finish ahead of runner-up Regis (Mass.), which totaled 669 points in the meet that scored eight finalists and eight consolation finalists. University of Saint Joseph (Conn.) followed with 356.5 points, while Norwich registered 334 points. Husson University (287.5), Colby-Sawyer College (266), Saint Joseph’s College (Maine) (241) and Elms College (211) rounded out the remaining field.
Norwich wins for the second consecutive year after the inaugural championship meet last season. Prior to that, the Cadets had won six GNAC Invitationals before the league gained the minimum number of members to sponsor a conference championship on the men’s side. Norwich tallied 317 points to finish ahead of Regis’ total of 171, while Husson placed third with 119 points. Elms scored 83 points, followed by Saint Joseph’s (Maine) with 70. Saint Joseph (Conn.) tallied 61 points in its first season sponsoring a men’s program, followed by Colby-Sawyer’s tally of 18.
Simmons won eight of 10 events for the day and began the evening finals with the Sharks taking seven of the top eight spots in the 200-yard freestyle, including the top six places. Junior Aine Scholand (Albuquerque, N.M.) posted a pair of record-breaking wins, turning in a GNAC and pool record swim with a time of 1:55.27 in the 200-free to clip her own mark from the previous season. She repeated the feat by breaking the conference and pool record in the 100-yard backstroke with a mark of 59.90 to better the former GNAC standard held by Miriam Swisher (2013-17) and the pool mark owned by Dorothy Ren. Scholand was the top scorer for the meet with 80 points, thanks to four first-place finishes in as many individual races. She also swam the anchor leg in the team’s 800-yard freestyle victory with sophomore Maria Soraghan (East Hampstead, N.H.), senior Laura Simpson (Perkiomenville, Pa.) and first year Sarah Singleton (Mission Hills, Calif.) combining on a league-record time of 7:49.88 to shatter Simmons’ former mark by over 11 seconds.
Singleton shattered the GNAC record in the 400-yard individual medley by over 15 seconds for the Sharks, while breaking her own school record and the pool record with a time of 4:37.31. She finished the meet with 75 points as the fourth-highest scorer with three first-place efforts and a fourth-place showing. Senior Jason Erichsen (Banks, Ore.) placed first in the 200-yard breaststroke on a mark of 2:29.52 to spark a 1-2-3 Simmons sweep of the race, while senior Kerry Fleming (Northampton, Mass.) touched the wall first in the 50-yard freestyle with a time of 24.85. Erichsen win was the third of the meet for the senior to contribute to 77 points for the second-most in the meet, while Fleming’s 73 points was the fourth-highest total for the weekend. Sophomore Anna Leedham (Lowell, Mass.) capped an outstanding meet with a victory in the 200-yard butterfly with a time of 2:17.21 to give her 66 points, fueled by four top-four finishes for the meet. Simpson finished just ahead of Leedham with 67 points for the meet for to rank fifth in points for the meet.
Simmons swept the three-meter diving, paced by sophomore Sara Manjikian (Belmont, Mass.), who set the GNAC, school and pool record with 372.10 points in an 11-dive set. First year Natalie Krieg (Cambridge, Mass.) enjoyed a career day with 336.65 points to place second, while junior Cristina Samaniego (Avon, Conn.) tallied 312 points to finish third.
Sophomore Jinnae Jang (Fall River, Mass.) won the 50-yard butterfly for Colby-Sawyer with a time of 27.76 in a race where the top three finishers were separated by three tenths of a second. She also added a second-place effort in the 50-yard backstroke and was third in the 50-yard freestyle to rack up 53 points to lead all competitors for the day. She finished the meet 15th in scoring and topped the Chargers.
Junior Sarah Leonard (Brockton, Mass.) placed first with a time of 27.68 in the 50-yard backstroke for Regis and scored 51 points for the meet, including 37 on day three. First year Kyleigh Boatwright (Roseville, Calif.) enjoyed an excellent GNAC debut with four third-place finishes to top the Pride with 64 points for the seventh-most in the meet.
Norwich was led by first year Megan Duffy (Shelton, Conn.) with 61 points for the meet on a second, two fourths and a fifth-place effort for the three days. Sophomore Brittany North (Palmer, Mass.) placed in four events for Elms to score 55 points and rank 11th for the meet. She highlighted her meet effort with a pair of fourth place times and a fifth-place finish. Senior Annmarie Masayda (Watertown, Conn.) was a big reason for USJ’s third-place finish with 52 points, including two second-place efforts to go with a fourth-place finish for the meet.
First year Alirose Beauregard (Dover, N.H.) made two appearances in the finals for Saint Joseph’s (Maine) and recorded a fifth and sixth place showing during the meet to finish with 38 points. First year Ava Emery (Cutler, Maine) registered three finishes among the top-eight to top Husson, including a fifth and two seventh-place efforts.
The Norwich men won five events to ensure its victory. Sophomore Joseph Clark (Acworth, Ga.) won a pair of events for the Cadets with a time of 1:51.45 to capture the 200-yard freestyle, before winning the 100-yard backstroke with a mark of 56.47. He also helped Norwich win the 800-yard freestyle relay with an anchor finish ahead of older brother Matt Clark (Acworth, Ga.), sophomore Sam Carlson (Dedham, Maine) and junior Will Micali (Brentwood, N.H.) as part of a time of 7:45.59. J. Clark finished as the meet’s top scorer on the men’s side with a trio of victories in addition to a third-place effort. Sophomore Cameron Ferreira (Cocoa Beach, Fla.) earned a win on a mark of 4:30.07 in the 400-yard individual medley, while first year Gordon Suwirjo (Derry, N.H.) placed first with a mark of 2:11.77. Ferreira tallied 25 points to rank sixth for the meet. Junior Alex DiGiacomo (Norfolk, Mass.) was consistent for Norwich during the meet with three second-place efforts and a third-place finish as the meet’s second-highest scorer.
Husson freshman Steven Johnston (Hermon, Maine) highlighted day three for the men’s meet with a pair of first place showings, including a time of 21.56 to break the conference mark held by former Regis swimmer Kiet Luong (2013-17) in the 50-yard freestyle. Johnston touched the wall first in the 50-yard backstroke as well with a time of 25.58 and finished the meet with 27 points on three first-place swims to tie for the second-most points in the meet. First year GianCarlos Banrey (Roslindale, Mass.) and senior Joshua Unas (Santa Clarita, Calif.) each won a race for Regis on day three. Banrey’s time of 23.23 was the fastest in the 50-yard butterfly, while Unas finished ahead of the field in the 200-yard breaststroke. Unas finished the weekend with a trio of wins, while Banrey added a second-place effort to a pair of victories. Sophomore Grant Kollien (Acton, Mass.) finished with 23 points to rank eighth, thanks to a win and two runner-up efforts during the meet.
First year Jacob Wyse (Broad Brook, Conn.) posted four finishes among the top four to lead Saint Joseph (Conn.), including a win and a second-place effort during the weekend as part of a 27-point effort to finish second for the meet. Sophomore Eddie Capoldo (Brunswick, Maine) paced Elms during the weekend with four top-eight showings, including a second-place finish to contribute to 22 points for the ninth-most in the meet. Senior Stephen Quinlan (Andover, Mass.) made his last GNAC appearance a good one for Saint Joseph’s (Maine) with a pair of second-place finishes and a fourth-place effort during the meet. Sophomore Garrett Scahill (Manville, R.I.) led Colby-Sawyer during the meet with a second-place finish flanked by a third and fourth-place showing.
The Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) is an NCAA Division III association made up of 13 member institutions and over 3,000 student-athletes across the New England region. Founded in 1995, the GNAC annually sponsors and administers 20 championships, while balancing academic integrity, athletic opportunity and community involvement in an effort to enhance the student-athlete experience.
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