NEW ROCHELLE, NY -- Friday evening was the first ever meeting between the visiting Iona College men’s and women’s Swimming & Diving teams, and Pace University. Over the course of the evening, the gathering turned into a tale of two meets, with the women’s side finding immense success, and the men struggling to measure up to their counterparts’ success.
The Iona women swamped the host, winning all 14 of the swimming events; the final tally was 168-111 in favor the Maroon & Gold.
The men had a chance to take home a victory, however the Gaels fell in the final racing event of the day by just 0.8 seconds. Pace took the victory with a slim 139.5 – 122.5 final score.
The women’s meet saw four women each take a pair of events for Iona. Junior Natalie Bowman won the 50 and 100-freestyle; sophomore Alex DiBiase stole the 100 and 200-butterfly; senior Maryellen Mangione dominated the 100 and 200-breaststroke, and senior Leigh Musselman was the winner of the 100 and 200-backstroke.
Junior Kaitlyn Mahon (1000-Free), freshman Jessica Schmidt (200-Free), freshman Maria DiBella (500-Free) and sophomore Elizabeth Kaczmarek (200-IM) each claimed an individual win.
The men’s meet had drama from the opening event. Pace claimed the first race, the 200-yard Medley Relay by less than 2 seconds in a come-from-behind effort. The very next event saw Pace post a first-and-second finish to jump out to an 18-point lead.
In a valiant attempt, Iona answered back in demonstrative style with a sweeping effort in the 200-Free, finishing in the top four spots. Sophomore Christian Foti touched the wall first, followed by freshman Jude Zamora, junior Matt Rothman and freshman Jimmy Barnola; their efforts closed the Pace points advantage to just four.
Pace then expanded their slim lead with wins in the 100-back and breasts events, that is before junior Collin Purrman took the top spot in the 200-fly.
A second-through-fifth finish in the 50-free closed the gap for Iona, but again Pace answered with a top two placement in the 100-free.
Trailing again by a dozen, junior Keegan Boisson-Yates and freshman Matthew Bosse went one-two in the 200-back to close the margin to 4. Pace’s Alexander Dimcevski held on to edge Iona’s sophomore Chris Vadala in the 200-Breast by 0.42 to extend the lead to 6.
In the 500-free race, the Maroon & Gold’s Foti and Pace’s Daniel Galarza went stroke-for-stroke for the entire 20-lengths, with the Gaels swimming winning by .01 at 4:47.23.
Iona took a half-point lead with Boisson-Yates, sophomore Zack Holbrook and Rothman handing off to Foti, who posted a strong 48.0 leg, but pace’s Travis Monahan blasted a 46.55 leg to grab a .78 winning margin.
"Both our groups swam well tonight," commented Coach Nick Cavataro, "but Pace had a little more than us on the men's side and that was the difference."
The Gaels get right back to action Sunday as they visit Delaware.