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COLUMBUS, Ohio – Kaelan Freund won the 100 breaststroke and Ally McHugh and Hector Garcia Boissier also earned top-three finishes, as Penn State swimming & diving continued to post season and career best times on the second day of competition at the Ohio State Invitational Saturday at the McCorkle Aquatic Pavilion.
The Penn State men (179 points) and women (143 points) both rank seventh in the team standings. No. 15 Kentucky leads a four-way battle for first with 477 points, while No. 8 NC State (458.5), No. 25 Notre Dame (440) and No. 19 Ohio State (437) are in close pursuit. No. 5 NC State has a commanding lead on the men’s side with 764 points. The host No. 14 Buckeyes trail with 520.5 points and is followed by No. 17 Notre Dame (479.5).
On the men’s side for Penn State, Freund became the second-fastest Nittany Lion swimmer all-time in the 100 breaststroke, placing first with a career-best and NCAA B-cut time of 53.26 seconds. However, the Lions saw their deepest success in the 3-meter dive, with three scoring points. Hector Garcia Boissier placed third in the 3-meter with a finals score of 358.35, and was followed by Jack Crow in 10th (299.65 points) and Connor Scanlon (290.45) in 13th.
McHugh led the women’s side with a B-cut time of 4:08.06 in the 400 IM to place second, and she also led a fifth-place (7:14.39) effort in the 800 freestyle relay with the help of Camryn Barry, Emily Harris and Niki Price.
Also making A-finals were Liam Veregin in the men’s 100 backstroke and Jane Donahue in the women’s 100 breaststroke. Veregin swam his best time in the preliminaries (48.54) and placed in a tie for eighth in 49.00 seconds, while Donahue swam a personal best and NCAA B-cut of 1:02.38 in the prelims and placed 10th (1:02.91) in the finals.
The men’s 200 free yielded a pair of B-cut times for Penn State, as Ryan O’Neill finished the prelims in 1:37.64 before placing 16th in the finals (1:38.15) and Nathan Schiffmann placed 23rd with a finals time of 1:37.77.
Additional scorers for the Penn State women included Barry and senior captain Hannah Harper. Both swam personal bests, as Barry placed 12th in the 200 free in 1:48.31 and Harper placed 16th in the 100 butterfly (54.90) after touching the wall in 54.85 in the prelims.
The final day of the three-day meet begins with 10 a.m. preliminaries Sunday. Finals are set to start at 4 p.m.
On the first day of competition Friday, McHugh won the women’s 500 free in record time and Garcia won the men’s 1-meter dive.
McHugh’s time was one of four NCAA B-cut times for the Penn State women, while the Penn State men also posted a pair of B-cut times and Garcia yet again exceeded the men’s diving NCAA Zone standard.
McHugh’s time of 4:38.77 was almost a full two seconds quicker than the previous record of 4:40.72, set by Katelyn Sowinski in 2015. It is also an NCAA B-cut and ranks among the top-five quickest times in the country entering the weekend. McHugh’s previous best was 4:40.73 set in the postseason last year.
Garcia posted a finals score of 384.05 to place first over Notre Dame’s Joe Coumos (381.25) in the 1-meter dive.
McHugh was not alone in having success for the women. Price also reached an A-final, doing so in the 200 IM with a personal-best and NCAA B-cut time of 1:59.11 that ranks her as the seventh-fastest swimmer in the event all-time at Penn State. She finished 10th in the finals with a time of 2:01.68. Price also tied her personal best in the 50 freestyle prelims, finishing in 23.06 seconds, and she placed 17th overall in 23.13. Price was not the lone Lion standout in the 200 IM, as freshman Jane Donahue also swam a personal-best and NCAA B-cut time, placing 16th in 2:01.05.
On the men’s side Freund posted a season best and NCAA B-cut time in the men’s 200 IM, placing 13th in 1:47.52, and in the 500 freestyle, Schiffmann swam a personal best and NCAA B-cut of 4:24.01 in the prelims to become the sixth-fastest performer in the event in Penn State history. His finals time of 4:25.41 was good for 14th place overall. Scanlon scored 276.35 points in the 1-meter dive to also place 14th.
Additional top performances on the women’s side included freshman Camryn Barry and senior Tommie Dillione with strong swims in the 500 free. Barry swam a personal best and NCAA B-cut of 4:46.93 to place 12th, while Dillione swam a personal best of 4:48.82 in the prelims and ultimately finished 20th with a finals time of 4:51.62.
The Penn State women started the evening finals strong with a fourth-place finish (1:31.42) out of nearly 30 teams for its 200 free relay team of Price, Katrina Kuhn, Ann Tolan and Donahue. The Penn State saw similar success in the 400 medley relay, as Liam Veregin, Freund, Sterg Dikos, and Gabe Castano combined to place sixth in 3:14.26.
Sunday, Nov. 19
Prelims: 10 a.m. | Finals: 4 p.m.
400 Free Relay*
* Timed finals event swum at Finals only
** Diving Prelims and Finals will begin 15 minutes after the start of Swimming events
*** 1650 start time is TBD, slowest to fastest (Fastest heat swum at finals)