Swimming and Diving prepares for MAAC Championships


Photo Courtesy of icgaels.com

Head coach Nick Cavataro is seeking his seventh conference championship.  

Kaylin Flukey, Contributing Writer

The Iona College swimming and diving team ended the regular season on a high note with a combined win against Manhattan College on Jan. 30.  

The men’s team finished with a record of 7-4 while the women’s team finished with a record of 8-4.  

The Gaels thrived at home this season with the men’s team earning a record of 6-1 and the women’s team earning a home record of 6-2. Close wins against Holy Cross and Providence helped the team add to their wins at home.  

Leading the men’s team is standout sophomore Michael Faughnan, with a total of 28 first place individual finishes this season. On Nov. 20 against Southern Connecticut, Faughnan swam his first “mile” ever with a time of 15:37.45. This swim allowed Faughnan to top the team record set by Christian Foti in 2018 with a time of 15:40.23.  

Graduate students Conor Mullin and Spencer Moran have also been key contributors to the Gaels’ winning record. Mullin ended the regular season with 20 individual wins and Moran finished with 12.  

Junior Isabella Nicholson lead the women’s side with 22 individual wins. Nicholson set two new individual team records this season in the 100-individual medley with a time of 1:00.87 and the 200-freestyle with a time of 1:52.95.  

More team records were set on the women’s side this season by junior, Julia Moser and freshman, Ashley Benkert. Moser now holds the team record for the 200-breaststroke with a time of 2:19.45. Despite suffering a broken wrist early in the season, Benkert was able to get back in the water and break the team record in the 50-butterfly relay with a time of 25:01.  

The next stop for the Gaels is the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Championships on Feb. 9 to Feb. 12. The meet will be held at the Burt Flickinger Centre at Erie Community College in Buffalo, New York. 

Mullin is going into the meet as the defending 200-butterfly champion. Moran, Nicholson and Moser are expected to be high scorers for the Gaels. This is the first appearance in the MAAC Championships for Faughnan and Benkert, who are projected to be top scorers as well.  

The men’s team finished fourth with the women finishing in second at the 2020 Metro Atlantic Athletic Association Championships. Last year’s championships were canceled due to COVID-19 but were replaced with the MAAC Spring Invitational, where the men’s and women’s teams both finished in first place.  


Iona’s performance in the pool this season was not a surprise to the rest of the conference, as both teams were ranked second in the 2022 MAAC Preseason Coaches’ Poll.