Ally McHugh Runs Down Rest Of Field To Capture 400 IM Title

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Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

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Ally McHugh pulled off a major upset in the women’s 400 IM, blowing away the rest of the field with a monstrous final 100 meters to grab the title in 4:34.80. McHugh was sitting fifth through much of the race before turning it on in the second half and out-splitting the entire field on the freestyle leg. She was the only swimmer in the field under 30 seconds on her final 50 (29.86), and with her time will punch her ticket to Pan Pacs and move up to fourth in the world.

In second was Stanford’s Brooke Forde, who was in the lead at the 350 but couldn’t hold off McHugh. She finished in 4:35.09, which is still a four second drop from her previous lifetime best heading into Nationals that was from last summer.

In third was Melanie Margalis with a 4:35.50, who will likely qualify to swim the event at Pan Pacs with that finish, while defending national champion Leah Smith was fourth in 4:35.68 after leading in the early half of the race before falling back during the breaststroke leg.

The rest of the A-final was comprised of Evie Pfiefer (4:38.68), Kay Sargent (4:40.24), Allie Szekely (4:41.38), and Emma Weyant (4:43.54).

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