The new fish in a big pond: Allegra Iacovino

Freshman swimmer Allegra Iacovino credits her love of swimming to her grandmother, who once qualified for the Olympics.

Allegra Iacovino’s heart lies in the water.

“Just keep swimming. Just keep going. You were strong enough to get this far, and you are strong enough to make it through. Never look back, only ahead. You will conquer, you will get there, if you just keep swimming.”

A quote that is kept close to the heart of Allegra Iacovino, freshman on the women’s swimming and diving team here at Roger Williams University, she uses it for frequent inspiration and courage.

She grew up in Chester Springs, Pennsylvania with her two brothers Nico and Lucas as well as her mother and father Stephanie and Ralph. Iacovino competes in the distance free style event at the swim meets here at RWU. She has been swimming for the last 12 years. Iacovino got interested in swimming when she found out her grandmother was a swimmer.

“My grandmother qualified for the Olympics but her mother would not let her go” said Iacovino.

At 7-years-old, she did swimming and gymnastics. When it came time to choose between the two, she says it was tough but chose swimming and has stuck with it ever since. 

When it came time to choose if she wanted to compete in college she did not hesitate.

“I knew that I could not live without swimming. I know that sounds cliché but it is 100 percent true,” Iacovino said. “I have been swimming for so long and it helps me mentally with focusing but also clearing my head that I knew during college I needed to keep swimming.”

She was a part of a club team back home in Pennsylvania. She says that swimming for her club team and swimming at the college level are similar, yet different.

“In college, we do doubles practices all year round and in club, I would only do those in the summer and winter breaks,” Iacovino said.

Iacovino says she is more focused on distance swimming here whereas back home she did a little bit of everything.

The head coach of the men and women’s swim team Matt Emmert knows that any obstacle you throw at Iacovino, she will accomplish

“She does her job,” said Emmert. “You can throw anything at her and she is unstoppable.”

He also says that most of the time she flies under the radar but when recruiting Iacovino he knew she would make an impact on the team.

“She is just beginning to scratch the surface and I see a lot of potential in her. She is like the energizer bunny [that] just keeps going,” Emmert said.

Swimming is much more than just a sport to Iacovino — it is her life.

“Swimming was always there for me, it was somewhere I could escape to when times get tough and it was a way for me to get away from all my stress,” Iacovino said. “I just began to focus my whole, entire life into swimming. Swimming is a part of me now and helped me overcome a lot of obstacles.”

Iacovino also says that swimming helped her choose her career path. Right now, she is a business major and wants to own her own workout facility in Hawaii. She says she has always had a passion for fitness.

“I have always loved working out and I couldn’t imagine myself not working out when I’m older, so I thought why not own a gym?” Iacovino said.

She describes her gym as an indoor and outdoor facility with yoga classes during sunrise and sunset. The facility will include a weight room as well as a place for spin classes, barre classes, boxing classes and many more. She says there will be “adventures” where individuals can go for hikes to nearby waterfalls or in the mountains to get specialized workouts.

“This is what I want my life to be, I want to live on a beach and Hawaii seems like a great place to be.”