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COLUMBUS, Ohio – Kaelan Freund completed a sweep of the men’s breaststroke events, while Ally McHugh placed second in the women’s mile to lead the Penn State swimming & diving teams on the final day of competition at the Ohio State Invitational Sunday at the McCorkle Aquatic Pavilion.
The Penn State men (240 points) and women (175 points) both ranked seventh in the team standings. No. 15 Kentucky won the women’s meet with 733 points, while No. 8 NC State (669.5), No. 25 Notre Dame (656) and No. 19 Ohio State (642) claimed the remaining top-four spots in order. No. 5 NC State won the men’s meet with 1,118.5 points. The host No. 14 Buckeyes were runner-up with 780.5 points and was followed by No. 17 Notre Dame (676.5).
Freund claimed gold in the 200 breaststroke Sunday in an NCAA B-cut 1:56.98 to become the third-fastest performer in the event all-time at Penn State. Freund won the 100 breast on Saturday in first with a career-best and NCAA B-cut time of 53.26 seconds, making him the second-fastest performer all-time at Penn State. He also posted a season best and NCAA B-cut time in the men’s 200 IM Friday, placing 13th in 1:47.52.
McHugh concluded a stellar weekend by placing second in the 1,650 freestyle in an NCAA B-cut time of 15:59.03, just shy of her own school record of 15:58.92. McHugh is the only Penn State women to swim the mile in under 16 minutes. McHugh also placed second Saturday, doing so 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. Her top performance came Friday though, as she won the women’s 500 free in 4:38.77, which was almost a full two seconds quicker than the previous Penn State record of 4:40.72, set by Katelyn Sowinski in 2015. It is also an NCAA B-cut and it ranked 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.
Liam Veregin also reached an A-final Sunday, placing 10th in the 200 backstroke in 1:49.38 after advancing with a season-best time of 1:47.17 in the prelims. Veregin also reached the A-final Saturday in the 100 backstroke, as he swam his best time in the preliminaries (48.54) and placed in a tie for eighth in 49.00 seconds.
Penn State’s men’s diving success continued Sunday with two scoring in the platform dive. Hector Garcia Boissier placed ninth with a score of 296.80, while Jack Crow was 13th with a score of 263.05. The Lions saw their deepest success in the 3-meter dive Saturday, with three scoring points, as Garcia placed third with a finals score of 358.35, and was followed by Crow in 10th (299.65 points) and Connor Scanlon (290.45) in 13th. On Friday, 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 with success on the women’s side for Penn State Sunday. Camryn Barry also scored in the mile, placing 12th in 16:41.27 in her collegiate debut in the event. Barry also placed 12th in the 200 free (1:48.31) Saturday and swam a personal best and NCAA B-cut of 4:46.93 to place 12th in the 500 free Friday. Hannah Harper continued to have success in the butterfly Sunday, placing 11th in the 200 in a season-best 1:59.93. She placed 16th in the 100 butterfly (54.90) Saturday after touching the wall in 54.85 in the prelims.
Jane Donahue finished just outside the scoring in the 200 breaststroke, reaching the B-final and placing 17th overall (2:16.99). She made the A-final in the 100 breaststroke Saturday swimming a personal best and NCAA B-cut of 1:02.38 in the prelims and placing 10th (1:02.91) in the finals, and also swam a personal-best and NCAA B-cut time in the 200 IM, placing 16th in 2:01.05.
Additional top performances on the men’s side Sunday included a pair of scorers in the 200 butterfly, as Sterg Dikos and Matt Dinunzio tied for 14th with season-best times of 1:48.62.
On Saturday, 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.
Friday, Niki Price reached an A-final, doing so in the women’s 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.
On the men’s side 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.
Penn State will next compete in the New Year, taking on Navy and North Carolina in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, on Jan. 18.