Iona athletics celebrates sporting success at annual Gaelspys

Nicholas Sinofsky, Contributing Writer


Iona Athletics welcomed its student-athletes to the Hynes Athletic Center for the 2023 Gaelspy Awards on April 26. The Gaelspys, an annual celebration of the year in sports, began at 6 p.m. with food, drink and dessert for all in attendance.  

The awards ceremony began at 7 p.m., while student-athletes, staff and faculty socialized and took photos prior to the event.  

 A video highlighting all sports in Iona Athletics was presented to the audience, created by Matthew Rankin and Trausti Thorsteins, members of the cross country/track & field team. Hosts Megan Pattinson and Chase Bateman from the swimming and diving team then kicked off the show with a welcome and introduction to the event.  

Fifteen honors were given out over the night, including two voted on live by attendees during the lead-up to the ceremony. Each winner was interviewed by Lily Morris of women’s water polo and Morgan Madasz of volleyball. 

The first award of the night was given out to the athlete with the best school spirit. Jen Soto from volleyball took home the award.  

The following category was Comeback Athlete of the Year. Kate Nieves from lacrosse won in the women’s category while Nick DiCarlo from baseball won on the men’s side.  

The Ms. Gael and Mr. Gael Awards, given to the athletes who embody what it means to “fight the good fight,” were won by Emily Stewart on lacrosse and Matt Rankin on cross country/track.  

The Unsung Hero award, given to athletes whose contributions go under the radar, went to swimming and diving’s Grace Curry and basketball’s Osborn Shema. 

The awards for best dressed and best picture were decided by a Twitter vote posted at the start of the event. Tamara Pichardo of volleyball took home the Best Dressed honor, while Best Picture was won by women’s soccer.  

Rookie of the Year for the men went to Cruz Davis of men’s basketball, who is transferring to St. John’s University. Mackenzie Wiggins of volleyball went home with honors on the women’s side.  

Student Athlete of the Year, the most anticipated honor of the night, went to Mike Faughnan on swimming & diving and Juana Camilion on women’s basketball.  

The final trophies handed out were for Moment of the Year and the Community Service Awards. Kate Mager of women’s hoops won MOTY for her win at the Celsius Women’s 3-Point Championship and 34th State Farm Championship, which included facing off against the men’s 3-Point champion in a final round at the Final Four in Houston. The final honor went to both the men’s and women’s water polo teams for their commitment to giving back to the community.  

Three teams won Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference championships during the 2022-2023 year with cross country, men’s basketball and women’s basketball all victorious. Men’s and women’s basketball also qualified for the March Madness tournament where both were knocked out in the first round.