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Ryan Leads 50m Back Semis Back at World University Games

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Aug. 22, 2017

TAIPEI – Penn State men’s swimming alum Shane Ryan (Havertown, Pa.) set an Irish record in the 50-meter backstroke to lead the semifinal round of the event Tuesday at the World University Games in the Taiwan University Sport Arena.

Ryan was the lone swimmer to finish under 25 seconds, winning the first heat in 24.97 seconds and out-pacing the tied winners of the second heat by 0.14 seconds. The finals are set for Wednesday at 8:40 a.m. ET.

The previous Irish record was also Ryan’s, as he bested his own standard of 25.09 seconds set in 2016.

Ryan is coming off a fourth-place finish Monday in the 100m backstroke in 54.35 seconds, his best time of the year but 0.18 seconds shy of bronze. Justin Ress (USA – NC State) took gold in 53.29 and ranks fifth in the 50m back after the semifinals with a time of 25.19 seconds.

Ryan advanced through the preliminaries and semifinals in the 100m back Sunday, and also led Ireland to a national record in the 400m freestyle relay, as the team finished seventh in 3:19.39.

Ryan will also compete in the men’s 400m medley relay, with preliminary heats starting at 9 p.m. ET Friday, Aug. 25. The final will be at 8:30 a.m. ET, Saturday, Aug, 26. Taipei is located 12 hours ahead of the Eastern Time Zone.

Also this past Sunday, Penn State junior women’s swimmer Ally McHugh (Philadelphia, Pa.) earned a silver medal in the 400-meter individual medley to lead Team USA. McHugh touched the wall second in a personal-best 4:40.22, shaving another three-hundredths of a second off her world trials time. McHugh was fourth approaching the final, turn, but swam the fastest final 50-meters (30.59 seconds) to gain more than a second and two seconds, respectively, on the third and fourth place finishers. However, it was not enough to catch Japan’s Yui Ohashi. Ohashi, who won silver in the 200 IM at the 2017 World Swimming Championships in June, set a Universiade record of 4:34.40. South Korea’s Seoyeong Kim took bronze in 4:41.52, while Sarah Darcel (Canada - California) was fourth in 4:42.07 and Brooke Forde (USA -Stanford), was fifth in 4:44.04.



McHugh becomes the second Penn State women’s swimmer to medal at the World University Games and the first since Kristen Elias earned silver in the 100m butterfly at the 1989 games in Bulgaria.

McHugh earned her place on the U.S. team with a fourth-place finish in the 400m IM at the U.S. Phillips 66 Nationals in June. Ryan was a semifinalist in the 100m back for Ireland at both the Rio Olympics in 2016 and the FINA World Championships last month.

The World University Games are organized every two years by the International University Sports Federation. The 22-sport event will feature approximately 7,000 participants ages 17-23 who are current college students or recent graduates.

Check for coverage of the Penn State swimming and diving teams during the season. Follow the team on Twitter at @PennStateSWIM and on Facebook at


Date – Time (ET)



8/23 – 8:40 a.m.

Men’s 50m Finals

Shane Ryan

8/25 – 9:00 p.m.

Men’s 400m Medley Relay Prelims

Shane Ryan

8/26 – 8:30 a.m.

Men’s 400m Medley Relay Finals

Shane Ryan*


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