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INDIANAPOLIS – Penn State junior Ally McHugh (Philadelphia, Pa.) was officially invited to the 2018 NCAA Women’s Swimming & Diving Championships Wednesday by the NCAA Division I Men's and Women's Swimming and Diving Committee.
The championships will be held March 14-17 at the McCorkle Aquatic Pavilion in Columbus, Ohio. The Ohio State University and the Greater Columbus Sports Commission will serve as co-hosts.
McHugh is making her second appearance at the meet after debuting last season. She is slated to compete in the 500 freestyle, 1,650 freestyle and 400 IM.
McHugh, a member of the U.S. National Team, ranks in the Top 20 of all three events, highlighted by her second-place ranking in the 1,650 free. Her season-best time of 15:43.34 in the event was not only good enough for gold at the Big Ten Championships, it was a Big Ten Championships meet and Penn State school record. Only Stanford sophomore Katie Ledecky (15:03.31) has swam faster this season.
McHugh ranks 14th in the 400 IM (4:06.43) and 19th in the 500 free (4:38.44), also setting season-best times in the events at Big Tens. She was a silver medalist in the 400 IM, nearing her own school record in the event, and set a school record in the 500 free to place fourth.
McHugh competed in the same three events in her NCAA debut last season. She was an honorable mention All-America in the mile and 400 IM, placing 10th (15:58.92) in the former and 14th (4:06.86) in the latter, and was 20th in the 500 IM (4:40.73).
A total of 322 participants (281 swimmers and 41 divers) will compete in the 2018 championships. Swimmers qualified for the championships by meeting the established minimum time for the events in which they entered. Divers will be determined by performances at the Zone Diving Meets held March 5-10. Selected divers will be announced Sunday, March 11.
Penn State women’s divers Christina Crowell (Bedford Hills, N.Y.), Emma Hellman (Cincinnati, Ohio), McKayla Mawn (Kennett Square, Pa.) and Kamryn Umbel (Potomac, Md.) will compete to join McHugh at the Zone A Regional, hosted by Rutgers, Monday and Tuesday, while men’s divers Jack Crow (Bethesda, Md.), Hector Garcia Boissier (Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Spain), Bryce Hoch (Hatfield, Pa.) and Connor Scanlon (Laurel, Md.) will look to earn bids to the NCAA Men’s Swimming and Diving Championships at the same meet.
ESPNU will broadcast live the championship finals session Friday starting at 5 p.m. Eastern time. The finals session on Saturday will be streamed live by ESPN3 starting at 6 p.m. Eastern time. All sessions not broadcast by either ESPNU or ESPN3 will be streamed live on the NCAA Swimming and Diving Championships microsite at www.ohiostatebuckeyes.com. Tape delayed coverage of the women's championships will be broadcast on ESPNU March 25 at 4 p.m. Eastern time.