Iona swimming and diving begin season


Photo Courtesy of

Freshmen diver Dylan Riccio, is the first male diver to compete for the Gaels since 2015.  

Kaylin Flukey, Managing Editor

The Iona University swimming and diving team opened the 2022 season at home against St. Francis College on Oct. 7. 


The women’s team topped the Terriers with a final score of 150-144. The men’s team lost only by 10 points with a final score of 139-149. 


The women’s team started off strong with a win in the 200-medley relay which consisted of Megan Josephs, Erin Mckinney, Ashley Benkert and Isabella Nicholson. The quartet combined with a time of 3:38.59, winning by 2.37 seconds. 


Nicholson led the women’s side, winning gold in the 100-yard freestyle with a time of 52.72 and won gold in the 200-yard freestyle with a time of 1:55.35. The senior tri-captain took second in the 200-yard individual medley with a time of 2:11.94. 


Josephs and Benkert both came away with gold in their individual events. Benkert won the 100-butterfly with a time of 58.23 and Josephs won the 50-freestyle with a time of 24.91. 


Another standout performance for the women’s team was freshman Victoria Novinsky. She won gold in both the 100 and 200-yard backstroke with times of 59.48 and 2:08.28. 


For the men’s team, Michael Faughnan finished with three wins for the Gaels. The tri-captain won the 500-freestyle (4:35.95), the 1000-freestyle (9:35.19) and the 100-backstroke (51.41). 


For the first time in five years, the men’s team had a diver compete at a meet. Freshman Dylan Riccio claimed wins on both the 1 and 3-meter springboards with scores of 209.00 and 204.30. 


Three more Gaels secured wins in their individual events. Blake Alford won the 50-freestyle (22.55) and Daniel Hadary won the 200-backstroke (1:57.10). Lucas Haddad also won gold in the 200-breaststroke with a time of 2:18.42, the first win of the tri-captain’s career. 


The following day, the Gaels traveled to Holy Cross University for a dual meet. Both teams fell to Holy Cross but the Gaels came out on top of some tough races. 


For the women’s team Nicholson won gold in three of her events with Novinsky right behind her with three wins of her own. Benkert and Tristan Urso both won in their events. The big win for the Gaels was the 400-freestyle relay which consisted of Nicholson, Benkert, Novinsky and Josephs with a time of 3:37.67. 


For the men’s team Faughnan secured gold in all three of his races and Riccio won both the 1 and 3-meter spring events for the second day in a row. Hadary took first in his event and anchored the 400-freestyle relay along with Liam Pyatt, Robert Heim and Faughnan to win the last race of the day. 


The Gaels are looking to secure another team win as they will host Long Island University at Hynes Center Pool on Oct. 21.