By Simmons Athletics
Simmons College’s Laura Simpson (Perkiomenville, Pa.) was named the Great Northeast Athletic Conference Women’s Swimming & Diving Athlete of the Week, for January 23-29, announced today by the league.
The honor has been handed out to four different Sharks this season for a total of six times.
Senior Miriam Swisher (Albuquerque, N.M.) received the accolade for the weeks of October 24-30 and November 28 to December 4, while classmate Hannah Plourde (Westfield, Mass.) was the GNAC’s top female swimming athlete for the week of November 14-20. Sophomore Kerry Fleming (Northampton, Mass.) was the conference recipient for the weeks of January 9-15 and January 16-22.
Simpson earns the accolade after winning three individual events in the team’s 186-102 victory over visiting Mount Holyoke College on January 28. The sophomore clocked in at 10:59.30 to finish first in the 1000yard freestyle to begin her day and wasted no time in winning her second event, touching the wall first in the very next event with a mark of 2:03.46 from the eighth lane. The Boyertown High School graduate capped her outstanding individual showing with a win in the 500yard freestyle, registering a time of 5:32.11 to win by more than 12 seconds and give her 27 points for the day.
The second-year swimmer has been outstanding all season for Simmons, racking up 22 top-three efforts in 24 events, while winning 16 races. The distance swimmer has excelled in freestyle events and has not lost a 1000-yard and 1650yard race this season with six and two victories, respectively.
Simpson scored 76 points for the third-highest total at the GNAC Championships from December 3-4, winning the 500 and 1000-yard freestyle events in addition to capturing the crown in the 400-yard individual medley to earn All-Conference honors for the second straight year. Her time of 10:57.14 set a new conference championship record and her 400IM mark of 4:52.32 smashed the school and GNAC standard. Simpson also finished third in the 200yard freestyle at the championship meet.
For her career, the Exercise Science major has won 33 of 49 races that she’s entered and owns school records for the 500-yard freestyle (5:08.77), 1000-yard freestyle (10:37.96) and 1650-yard freestyle (17:44.67) in addition to her 400-IM mark. She was named the GNAC Rookie of the Year last season and was one of two Sharks in school history to gain multiple wins at the New England Intercollegiate Swimming & Diving Association Championships, while earning All-NEISDA status in six different events.
Simmons completed its first-ever perfect season with a 12-0 record in dual meets this year and will return to action on February 17-19 when it competes at the New England Intercollegiate Swimming & Diving Association Championship hosted by the University of Rhode Island in Kingston, R.I.