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McHugh Named to National Team

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Sept. 2, 2017

2017-18 USA Swimming National Team 

As one of the top swimmers in the nation in the 400-meter IM and 1500m freestyle, Penn State junior Ally McHugh (Philadelphia, Pa.) was named to the 2017-18 U.S. Women’s National Team, USA Swimming announced Friday night.

Accordingly, Penn State head coach Tim Murphy and assistant coach Erik Posegay were among 92 coaches named National Team Coaches.

McHugh earned her place on the team by virtue of her strong performances over the summer at the U.S. Phillips 66 Nationals in June, and she also won a silver medal in the 400m IM at the World University Games in August. McHugh is one of 115 members on the team, all of which ranked amongst the top six swimmers in at least one individual Olympic event.

McHugh’s time of 4:40.25 in the 400m IM was good enough for fourth at Nationals, was the sixth-fastest time in the U.S. in the past year and also ranks 30th internationally, and she improved her time in the event to 4:40.23 at the World University games. In the 1500m freestyle, McHugh also placed fourth at Nationals and swam the sixth-fastest time by an American this year, earning her highest international ranking of 15th with a time of 16:16.20.

McHugh is the first Penn Stater to earn a place on the USA Swimming National Team since Shane Ryan did so on the men’s side in 2013-14, and the first Penn State woman since Kaitlin O’Brien represented the United States at the 2007 Japan International Grand Prix. The only other Nittany Lion women with U.S. national team experience beyond the World University Games were Claire Hawley (2006) and Margy Keefe (2005) on the U.S. Open Water Teams, and two-time Olympic bronze medalist (1992 & 96) diver Mary Ellen Clark.



McHugh has seen dramatic improvement in long course events since arriving in Happy Valley, positioning her well for success at the national and now international stage.

400m IM
Before Penn State: 4:52.05
At Penn State: 4:40.23
Difference: -11.82 seconds
Current Ranking (USA/World): 6th/30th

400m Free
Before Penn State: 4:28.19
At Penn State: 4:11.74
Difference: -16.45 seconds
Current Ranking (USA/World): 17th/69th

800m Free
Before Penn State: 9:24.12
At Penn State: 8:35.01
Difference: -49.11 seconds
Current Ranking (USA/World): 12th/46th

1500m Free
Before Penn State: 18:25.83
At Penn State: 16:16.20
Difference: -2:09.63
Current Ranking (USA/World): 6th/15th

McHugh’s rise started during the 2016-17 season for Penn State. McHugh set school records in the mile and 400 IM, reaching the consolation finals in both at the NCAA Championships with her record mile swim earning her a 10th-place finish. She also won silver in the 400 IM at the Big Ten Championships.

Benefits offered to USA Swimming National Team members include reimbursement for travel to USA Swimming arena Pro Swim Series meets and training camp opportunities. Select athletes are eligible for monthly assistance and elite athlete health insurance. A full list of opportunities available to members of the National Team is available online at

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


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