NEW ROCHELLE, NY — The Iona College men’s and women’s Swimming and Diving 2016-17 campaign kicked off today with the squad taking on Patriot League rival College of the Holy Cross at the Hart Center in Worcester, Massachusetts.
The Iona Men came away with a strong 177.5-116.5 victory, winning 13 of the 16 events contested. The Iona Women were on the short end of a back and forth meet, falling to the Crusaders146-142, despite a pair of wins from junior Kaitlyn Mahon and freshman Alyssa Chain.
The Iona men dominated start to finish in the 200-yard Medley Relay, led by the quartet of freshman Dranoel Truter, junior Christopher Vadala, senior Collin Purrman and junior Kyle Desrosiers. The team out-touched the Holy Cross tandem by .3 at 1:39.54.
A blistering 1-2-3 finish in the 1000-Free by junior Christian Foti, freshman Matt Anderson and sophomore Owen Badin with respective times of 9:33.47, 9:55.78 and 10:38.17, gave the men a lead they would not relinquish.
Sophomore James Barnola took the 200-Free with his best in-season time ever at 1:46.79 and Matthew Bosse, senior Keegan Boisson-Yates and Truter followed with a 1-2-3 finish in the 100-Back, with Bosse touching first at 55.88. Bosse also went on to take the 200-Back at 2:02.16 to become one of the Gaels three double event winners on the day.
Vadala took the 100-Breast at 1:02.41 and later grabbed the 200-Breast at 2:15.44. Foti picked up his second win in the 100-Free at 48.70. Other wins for the Gaels came in the 50-Free with junior Zack Holbrook at 22.79; Purrman won the 200-Butterfly at 1:59.90; and Anderson claimed his first win as a Gael, taking the 500-Free at 4:51.99.
The 400-Free Relay quartet of Boisson-Yates, Holbrook, Barnola and Foti sealed the win at 3:19.97.
On the women’s side, the team started the night strong with a pair of back-to-back wins in the 200-Medley Relay. The squad consisting of sophomore Jessica Schmidt, senior Kathryn Nevin, junior Alexandra DiBiase and Alyssa Chain touched .2 ahead of Holy Cross. Junior Kaitlyn Mahon followed up with a come-from-behind win in the 1000-Free at 10:56.64.
The Crusaders took the next four events, including the 200-Free, 100-Back, 100-Breast and 200-Butterfly before Chain touched first in the 50-Free for the first of her two individual victories on the day at 25.07.
The Iona and Holy Cross women traded wins, as sophomore Maria DiBella won the 200-Back at 2:14.68; Mahon claimed her second win of the day in the 500-Free at 5:23.12; Chain took the 100-Butterfly at 1:01.22; and, junior Elizabeth Kaczmarek won the 200-Individual medley at 2:12.97.
However, the Crusaders accumulated big uncontested points in the one and three-meter Springboard events to hold off the late charge by the Iona women, who closed out with a flourish, winning the 400-Free Relay with Schmidt, freshman Simone Sturrup, Chain and Nevin winning by over 4 seconds at 3:42.94.
Head Coach Nick Cavataro, now in his 36th year at the helm of both programs noted “We had some very good efforts today up and down the line-up. We had a large group of swimmers put up times significantly faster than where they were last season at this time. We won 20 of the 32 events today, but we still some things to work on and our lack of divers will be a challenge in dual meets. Fortunately we get right back at Saturday against a strong Southern Connecticut State University team in New Haven