Ally McHugh Swims To Penn State’s First Women’s NCAA Title
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’s NCAA 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.
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Our photographers were on hand to capture the sights of Penn State basketball’s return to Rec Hall.
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“I’ve just been super interested ever since that first year trying to grow my personal THON story, get more connections to it, help as many people as I can, and be that person [my mom] is for other people.”