Sunday, February 25, 2024

Third-Place Finish Closes McHugh’s Career as Gophers Extend Top-25 Streak at NCAAs – University of Minnesota Athletics

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MINNEAPOLIS – In a fitting end to an illustrious career, the last act of the season for the Minnesota men’s swimming and diving team was having fifth-year senior and team captain Max McHugh stand atop the podium one last time.

One night after claiming the top prize in the 100 breast for the third year in a row, the Sturgeon Bay, Wis., native wrapped up his time in the Maroon and Gold with a third-place finish in the 200 breast, posting a season-best 1:49.91.

He finished his Gophers’ career as a nine-time All-American, and he never placed lower than third place in his four trips to the NCAAs in the 100 and 200 breast combined. He was third in the 100 as a freshman then rattled off three titles in a row. In the 200, he went second place, first place, second place and third place.

Behind 36 points from McHugh, the Gophers finished as a team in 21st place. It marks the 32nd straight season with a top-25 finish for the team, the seventh longest such streak in the nation. It’s also the fifth straight championship where the team has placed at least 21st.

Cal won the team title with 482 points, while Arizona State was second at 430 and Texas was third with 384.

The 1650 free saw a pair of Gophers post top-25 finishes.

Junior Chris Nagy logged a personal record as he placed 21st in 14:52.43; he also broke his 1000 free split with a time of 9:01.20. Sophomore Bar Soloveychik was two spots behind Nagy in 23rd at 14:54.37.

In Saturday’s prelims, junior Kaiser Neverman placed 24th in the 200 fly. He touched in 1:42.93, the second fastest swim in Gophers history. The only performance that topped that was by Neverman himself earlier this month at Minnesota’s Last Chance Meet where he set the school record in 1:42.56.

Gopher freshman Drew Bennett competed on the platform and finished prelims in 25th place with a score of 325.55. He had three dives over 56.55, including a high of 72.00 in round two.

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