NEW ROCHELLE, NY – The Iona College women's swimming and diving program and head coach Nick Cavataro announced an incoming class of four newcomers in the Class of 2017 and one returning swimmer after a year off.
Joining the group will be a unique and up and coming two-sport – or perhaps five-sport – athlete, Natalie Bowman, of Lodi, CA. Bowman was a member of the USA National Junior Modern Pentathlon Team (Swimming, Running, Equestrian, Shooting and Fencing) this past year and competed in the September World Junior Championships in Budapest, Hungary. Bowman is also a member of the Tiger Aquatics in Stockton, CA she set best times of 24.8, 52.5 and 1:54.0 in the 50, 100 and 200-Freestyle, respectively.
"We are very excited to have Natalie come to Iona," stated Cavataro. "Clearly she can make an immediate impact within the MAAC. Her most dynamic quality is her motivation to excel in the classroom, the pool and the fields. I know the diverse training opportunities in the NYC area are very attractive to her."
Maryland native Kathryn Nevin of Finksburg and Mount de Sales Academy also joins the squad. A member of the Retriever Aquatic Club, Nevin can swim sprint freestyle and was a breaststroke finalist in the Maryland IAAM Championships. She owns best times of 25.0 and 55.6 in the 50 and 100-Free and 1:08.3 in the 100-Breaststroke.
"Katie is a great student with the unique ability to swim freestyle and breaststroke a high level and we expect her to improve and contribute to a high level," noted Cavataro.
Maria Lopez, a Portsmouth, RI native and Bishop Stang HS graduate was a Boston Globe All-Star selection as a butterfly swimmer. The Newport YMCA swimmer has a personal best time of 1:00.70 in the 100-Fly and can also race backstroke and sprint free.
"We see Maria as versatile swimmer who can move between the free, back and fly events," commented Cavataro.
New Hampshire native and Pinkerton Academy graduate Jessica Martin is the state record holder in the 100-Breast at 1:09.43. Martin is a versatile swimmer who also set times in the 50, 100 and 200-Freestyles at 25.9, 55.4 and 2:01.1, respectively.
"Jessica is among the most motivated student-athletes we came into contact with this year. She wants to be a MAAC finalist and I believe she can be just that," added Cavataro.
The team is also pleased to welcome back junior Sophia Hyokyvaara after taking time away from competitive swimming. She was the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference finalist in the 100 and 200-Breaststrokes as a freshman. Hyokyvaara also swam the 50-Fly leg on the school record 200-Medley relay and is a very welcome addition according to Cavataro.
"Sophia is a fearless competitor and a great workout leader and gives us great depth again in the Breaststrokes," he added.