Minnesota returns home from NCAA championships with several new school records

Freshman Max McHugh and senior Bowen Becker led the way with second place finishes.

Junior Bowen Becker dives off the blocks at the start of the men's 400 yard freestyle relay at the Jean K. Freeman Aquatics Center on Saturday, Jan. 27, 2018.

Jack Rodgers

Junior Bowen Becker dives off the blocks at the start of the men's 400 yard freestyle relay at the Jean K. Freeman Aquatics Center on Saturday, Jan. 27, 2018.

After a weekend of year-end competition, six members of the Minnesota’s men’s swimming and diving team returned home from the NCAA Championships with several top place finishes and four broken school records.

Freshman standout Max McHugh bested the school record he set earlier this year when he swam a 1:53.36 in the preliminary round of the 200-yard breaststroke. That time gave him a third-place seeding for the final, where he recorded a 1:49.41, improving on his own record. His performance earned him a silver medal and All-American honors. 

McHugh first broke the previous record that was held by his older brother, Conner McHugh, in this year’s Big Ten Championships in March. 

Senior Bowen Becker also had historic swims this weekend, setting school and NCAA records in the 50- and 100-yard freestyle. Becker swam a final time of 40.83 in the 100, which earned him All-American honors and a second place finish. 

The time also placed him among NCAA greats, as his swim is the new fourth place record for the fastest 100 freestyle swim in NCAA history. His preliminary time of 41.44 qualified him for the A finals and made him the first Minnesota swimmer to qualify for A finals of the 50 and 100 freestyle since 1963.  

In the first day of the NCAA Championship meet, Becker swam an 18.84 in the final of the 50 freestyle, placing fourth and earning All-American Honors. 

He was also a part of the 400 medley relay that placed 10th in the country.

Becker, along with relay members McHugh, Tom Donker and Tuomas Pokkinen were awarded Honorable Mention All-American nominations after they bested their previous record set in the Big Ten Championships. 

The team beat their old record in the preliminaries with a time of 3:05.24  and returned the first night in the final to improve it again with a time of 3:04.70. 

Three divers also competed for Minnesota at the meet, with senior Nick Yang earning Honorable Mention All-American Honors. Yang scored a 321.25 after six dives in the consolation finals and placed 12th overall.  

Senior Alan LeBlang scored a 291.70 in his final meet with the Gophers and junior Jeremy Moser scored a 283.60, placing 27th and 30th respectively. 

This meet was the final meet of the year for Minnesota. Expect to see the team back competing next fall.