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Owls' Swimming Opens Season At Simmons

Kelsey Johnstone (file photo)
Kelsey Johnstone (file photo)

BOSTON, Mass. – Senior Laura List (Bedford, Mass.) scored 22 points and junior diver Sara Manjikian (Belmont, Mass.) won both of her diving events to lead the Simmons University women's swimming & diving team over visiting Westfield State University, 220-77, this afternoon at the Holmes Sports Center Natatorium in Boston, Mass.  The Sharks improve to 1-1 on the season, while the Owls fall to 0-1 after their season opener.

Simmons won 13 of 16 events and won the top three spots in five different events.

List won the 50-yard backstroke by over two seconds with a mark of 29.83, before adding a victory 100-yard freestyle with a time of 57.16 for the Sharks. She also tacked on a second-place effort in the 50-yard freestyle with a time of 26.38, finishing runner-up to Simmons sophomore Lauren Howard (Abington, Mass.), who clocked in at 26.17.

Manjikian qualified for the New England Intercollegiate Swimming & Diving Championship meet on both boards with her effort on the day for the Sharks. She topped the field by over 37 points to earn a victory on the one-meter board with a score of 209.40 and later added a win on the three-meter board with a tally of 200.30 points to win by nearly 15 points.

Senior Aine Scholand (Albuquerque, N.M.) was also a double-winner for Simmons, touching the wall first in the 1000-yard freestyle with a time of 11:06.02 to win the event by over 54 seconds. She placed first in the 100-yard backstroke as well, winning by almost three seconds with a time of 1:04.31. Scholand capped the meet by swimming the lead leg of the Sharks winning 200-yard freestyle relay ahead of Howard, List and junior Olivia Walz (Natick, Mass.) to compile a mark of 1:45.34.

Senior Kelsey Johnstone (Southwick, Mass.) led all competitors with 27 points after winning all three of her events for Westfield State. She began her victory parade with a first-place effort in the 200-yard freestyle with a time of 2:06.85, before taking the 100-yard breaststroke with a mark of 1:12.17 to win by more than a second. She capped her individual success by capturing first in the 100-yard individual medley with a time of 1:04.75.

Junior Anna Leedham (Lowell, Mass.) scored 17 points for Simmons, winning the 50-yard butterfly with a time of 28.78 and also placed second in the 100-yard backstroke and the 100-yard butterfly. Sophomore Sarah Singleton (Mission Hills, Calif.) took the 100-yard butterfly in a time of 1:03.41 to win by over a second and added a second-place showing in the 100-yard individual medley and a fourth-place effort in the 100-yard butterfly as part of a 15-point day.

First year Eva Piernas (Hopkinton, N.H.) registered her first collegiate win for the Sharks, finishing first in the 500-yard freestyle with a mark of 5:37.35 to dominate the race by over 12 seconds, while classmate Katelyn Quinlan (Haverhill, Mass.) won the 50-yard breaststroke in a clip of 33.67 to win by more than a second and record her first career college victory as well. Quinlan contributed to the Simmons win in the 200-yard medley relay to open the meet, swimming the breaststroke leg after Howard's opening backstroke. Singleton swam the butterfly clip and first year Meg Driscoll (Haverhill, Mass.) closed out the race with a 50-yard freestyle leg to combine on a time of 1:59.05.

Senior Emma Colcord (Andover, Mass.) also contributed for the Owls with nine points after placing second in the 1000-yard freestyle, third in the 500-yard freestyle and fourth in the 100-yard freestyle.

The Sharks return to the water on Friday, November 1 when they compete in the Worcester Polytechnic Institute Invitational at 6:30 p.m., while Westfield State competes in the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth Invitational on November 2 at 12:00 p.m.

-- release courtesy Simmons Sports Info