U.S. Nationals: Powerhouse Ally McHugh Takes Home Third National Title

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Photo Courtesy: Connor Trimble

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Women’s 1500 Free (Ally McHugh)

Ally McHugh has had spectacular meet at the 2019 Phillips 66 National Championships. The Penn State graduate has been a powerhouse in multiple events. Taking home yet another gold medal, this is not McHugh’s first, nor second, but third national championship title. At last years nationals McHugh finished in second in the 1500, but now stands proud at the top of the podium tonight. Regarding splits, McHugh was extremely consistent holding mid 32’s throughout the entirety of the race, with exception to the first and last 50 of the event. Posting a time of 16:05.98, The Wisconsin Aquatic Club swimmer was nearly four seconds ahead of second place finisher, Kensey McMahon.

 

McMahon took home silver in the event, posting a time of 16:09.80. This finish was a huge step of progress for the University of Alabama swimmer in comparison to her 15th place finish at last years nationals. McMahon, akin to McHugh, was fairly consistent in her splits, holding low to high 32’s for the majority of the 1500.

Sierra Schmidt hit the touch-pad just after McMahon, finishing with a time of 16:10.12, which is also a personal best for the University of Michigan swimmer. Schmidt has had a well seasoned career at this years 2019 national championships, making appearances in multiple finals such as the 800 free, the 400 free and the 200 free. Schmidt was the fastest swimmer at the first 100 mark of the race, splitting a quick 1:02.42, then held mid to high 32’s for the remainder of the event.

Just missing qualifying for podium was Wolfpack Elite swimmer, Hannah Moore. Although Moore did not swim a personal best she started out strong in the race keeping up with Schmidt leading the pack at the very beginning, before settling into comfortable 32 splits. Moore hitting the wall a few hundredths of a second after Schmidt at 16:10.92.

Fifth place went to Amanda Nunan, swimming for Tennessee Aquatics. Nunan swam a time of 16:20.08 as she brought in the back pack of the swimmers in the event. Nunan improved significantly from last years nationals in the women’s 1500 free where she finished in 12th.

Paige McKenna, infamous 15-year-old swimmer from Nation’s Capital,was scratched into the event and finished in sixth with a time of 16:26.49.

It was an extremely close call for seventh and eight place as Emily Hetzer battled Chase Travis. Travis, put up a good fight, but Hetzer came in just a a few hundredths of a second earlier at 16:28.37. Meanwhile, Travis hit the wall at 16:28.96, earning herself an eight place finish.

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