Max McHugh (50.55) Improves Nation-Leading 100 Breast Time; Minnesota Sweeps

Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

Max McHugh won the 100 and 200 breaststroke in a Minnesota dual meet with Iowa Saturday, improving his nation-best time in the former as Minnesota swept the meet.

The Gophers picked up three wins in the competition, which included a women’s tri-meet. Minnesota’s men topped Iowa, 153-147. On the women’s side, the Gophers prevailed by near identical scores over Nebraska (193-107) and Iowa (192-107).

McHugh had the most outstanding individual performance of the day, going 50.55 seconds in the 100 breast to improve on the nation-best time he set two weeks. He also won the 200 breaststroke in 1:53.17, the fifth-fastest time in the nation. McHugh was also on Minnesota relays that finished second in the 200 medley and 200 freestyle.

Minnesota used its depth to pack the podium in its strongest events. Sawyer Grimes led a 1-2-3 finish in the 1,000 freestyle and was second in the 200 backstroke and 200 individual medley. Kaiser Neverman and William Christenson went 1-2 in the 200 butterfly, and Neverman was second in the 100 fly.

The Gophers’ win owed to its strength on the boards, with Jake Butler scoring 412.50 points on one-meter in cuing a 1-2-3 sweep and 379.55 in a similar sweep at three meters.

Iowa’s men picked up plenty of victories but couldn’t back those golds. That included wins in both relays – Anze Fers Erzen, Will Myhre, Sergey Kuznetsov and Aleksey Tarasenko in the 200 medley; Tarasenko, Seth Miller, Kuznetsov and Myhre in the 200 free.

Fers Enzen won the 100 back, 200 back and 200 IM. Tarasenko claimed the 50 and 100 free. Kuznetsov claimed the 100 fly. Mateusz Arndt and Andrew Fierke went 1-2 in the 200 and 500 free for the Hawkeyes.

Diving again proved potent for the Minnesota women. Sarah Bacon set the program record in the one-meter event, the two-time NCAA champion scored 352.30 points to win the event in a 1-2 with Megan Phillip. Bacon also won the three-meter in 370.20.

The Golden Gophers’ dominance was on display in the 50 free, with Minnesota taking the top three spots via Maggie Summit (23.08), Olivia Bloomer and Pyper Doo. Those three joined Indy Jongman in winning the 200 free relay by more than a second, while Jongman, Emily Cook, Emma Lezer and Emma Linscott won the 200 medley relay for Minnesota.

Cook won the 100 back in 53.66 seconds, an NCAA B cut, while Jongman was first in the 200 back with Cook third. Lezer claimed the 100 breast and 200 breast, the latter in a 1-2 with Molly Urkiel. Megan Van Berkom prevailed in the 200 fly and 400 IM.

“I am really thankful to our athletic department and all of the staff, coaches and aquatic center personnel for all that is being done to afford our student-athletes this chance to compete,” Minnesota coach Kelly Kremer said. “It was awesome to see both our teams take full advantage of that opportunity today. We swam and dove great, and earned the wins that we came away with.”

Iowa got its win via its stroke depth. Mallory Jump won the 100 fly in a 1-2 finish with Kelsey Drake. Jump was second in the 100 breast and Drake was second in the 200 fly. Alyssa Graves, the winner of the 1,000 free, was third in both the 200 fly and 500 free. Macy Rink added runner-up finishes in the 200 and 500 free, as did Julia Koluch in the 100 back.

Nebraska’s leading light was Autumn Haebig, who won the 100 free, 200 free and 500 free. She also anchored the 200 free relay to second place. Madesyn Ronquillio was second in the 200 back and third in the 100 back.