After receiving congratulations from Fontbonne’s athletic director, senior Meeya Yan also received unexpected well wishes from 2016 Olympic swimming champion Michael Phelps on a Nov. 5 Twitter posting which read, “Congrats to Meeya Yan on committing to Iona and making the swim team. Good luck in the MACC Conference.”
Swimming since the age of four and competitively since the fourth grade, last month Yan finally got the news thatshe had long hoped for – an offer to swim on scholarship for a Division I College. A week after visiting the New Rochelle campus in October to attend a weekend competition and to meet the Gaels’ coach, Yan received anoffer to join the team on scholarship.
“Iona is going to be the perfect place for me,” said the 17-year-old Bay Ridge resident. “It’s far enough away where I can dorm and still be close enough to home. Plus I get to join my good travel team friend Molly Finn from Xaverian,who’s a freshman on the swim team.”
Yan started out swimming locally for the St. Anselm CYO team and for Fort Hamilton High School’s Harbor Seals youth travel team. While at Fontbonne, she advanced over her four years to become a captain of the swim team while keeping in year-round shape with the Freedom Aquatics travel club. In addition to swimming, she maintains a 3.8 GPA and is a member of the school’s neighborhood senior support club as well as the wildlife preservation club.
Excelling in the 100-yard breaststroke and in the 200-yard individual medley, Yan also swims the anchor leg of the 400-yard free style event. After COVID shut down high school sports during the 2020 season, Yan said, “I didn’t realize how important swimming was until I couldn’t go to any meets or even practice during the week. Practices are where I go to seek an inner peace, no matter what kind of a day I’m having. Meets are where you compete and improve.”
“She’s always been the consummate competitor, always giving her all to better her own times while supporting her teammates,” said Fontbonne athletic director Romeo Petric. “Meeya is a perfect example of what a team player is, even though swimmers really compete against themselves to better their own times.”