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Ally McHugh Swims to Penn State’s First Women’s NCAA Title

by on March 24, 2019 11:21 AM

Ally McHugh became Penn State women’s swimming and diving’s first-ever NCAA champion at nationals on Saturday in Austin, Texas, out-swimming her competition in the 1,650-yard freestyle by five seconds.

The senior posted a time of 15:36.27, which was a school record and eight seconds better than her Big Ten championship-winning swim in February.

“I’m so proud to have that be my last college race,” McHugh told ESPN after the race. “To be here and experience this as my last college meet is just amazing. I’m really happy and can’t ask for anything more.”

McHugh, who won a U.S. national title over the summer in the 400-meter individual medley, had a previous best finish of second place at last year’sNCAA Championships — serving as the runner-up the 1,650-yard freestyle event to none other than five-time Olympic gold medalist Katie Ledecky.

In the 400-yard individual medley at the NCAA Championships on Friday night, McHugh also set a school record, but finished in 10th place. She also took part in the 500-yard freestyle, finishing in 18th. The only other Nittany Lion at the championships was Maddie Hart, who took 25th in both the 100- and 200-yard butterfly preliminaries.


Steve Connelly is a staff writer for Onward State.
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