Gophers senior breaks 17-year record in U.S. Nationals for men’s swim and dive

Conner McHugh broke the record in the 200-meter breaststroke.

Junior Connor McHugh swimming the men's 200 meter breaststroke at the Gophers' first meet of the season against the Wisconsin Badgers at the Jean K. Freeman Aquatics Center on Oct 13. 2016.

Meagan Lynch

Junior Connor McHugh swimming the men's 200 meter breaststroke at the Gophers' first meet of the season against the Wisconsin Badgers at the Jean K. Freeman Aquatics Center on Oct 13. 2016.

Jack Warrick

Senior Conner McHugh represented the Gophers at the U.S. Nationals by breaking a program record that stood for nearly two decades.

McHugh broke a 17-year-old course record in the 200-meter breaststroke. After the record-breaking time, he went to the finals, where he broke that same record with a 2:12.47. His 2:12.47 helped him win the B Finals.

He also won the B finals in the 50-meter breaststroke. He finished 10th in the 100-meter breaststroke.

“I’m really pleased at how I dropped in all my events,” McHugh said. “Obviously, I really wanted to try to get into the A heat, but I still think I did really well.”

Junior Bowe Becker also broke a long course men’s record when he got a 49.32 time in the 100-meter freestyle event in prelims, and went on to get 13th in the finals. Becker also finished 10th in the 50-meter freestyle with a time of 22.25.

Head coach Kelly Kremer also said there was a chance some of the swimmers would get pulled into the national team such as Becker.

“I’m really happy and proud with the group,” Kremer said. “It’s the best swimming in the world and it’s just awesome to see the University of Minnesota so well represented in Indianapolis this week.”

The Gophers will go back to the Jean K. Freeman Aquatics Center to get ready for sections in late July. Kremer said the Gophers swimmers never stop practicing, even in the summer.

“That’s the thing with an Olympic sport like swimming and diving, there is no off season,” he said. “The weeks look exactly the same whether it’s October or it’s July.”