Iona College athletics achieved tremendous success on the field of play during 2020-21, an unprecedented year navigating through the challenges of competing during a global pandemic. The Maroon & Gold saw six programs this year earn the top conference team prize throughout the season.
Men’s cross country earned the Gaels’ first triumph, garnering an extraordinary 30th straight MAAC (Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference) Championship with a perfect team score of 15. The most successful program in any sport in league history earned their 35th title overall in 40 years of the event. The Iona men extended their achievement on the national stage, finishing 10th overall at the 2020-21 NCAA Championship with seniors Jack O’Leary and Ehab El-Sandali earning All-America honors.
Women’s cross country also defended its crown, winning its fifth straight MAAC Championship and 15th in the last 16 seasons. The Maroon & Gold have won a league-best 16 titles. Senior Gemma Nuttall, the individual MAAC Champion, earned an individual bid to the NCAA meet and competed for the Gaels at Oklahoma State.
Men’s basketball was the third Iona program to earn a MAAC title in early March, the fifth straight tournament title for the Gaels.
Iona’s golf program also continued its success, winning the MAAC Championship for the third consecutive time. Prior to the cancellation of the 2020 event, the golf team earned wins in 2018 and 2019. They have won seven titles, the most among current members of the MAAC.
With Fall 2020 championships postponed until the spring and uncertainty in the state of the pandemic for the winter, the men’s and women’s swimming and diving programs did not have a traditional MAAC Championship event to compete for this winter. Both programs earned first-place finishes in the inaugural MAAC Invitational, a de facto championship event. Competing in multiple venues across the league, seven teams competed on each side, with the Maroon & Gold earning a resounding victory. The result proves promising for the future of a program on the rise in the MAAC.