Trio swims season bests at NCAA women's championships

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — Led by Ally McHugh’s near-Penn State record time, all three Nittany Lions competing in the 500 freestyle swam season-best times on their first day of competition at the NCAA Women’s Swimming and Diving Championships Thursday morning in the IU Natatorium.

McHugh swam a personal-best of 4:40.73, just one-hundredth of a second shy of the school record of 4:40.72 set by Katelyn Sowinski at the 2015 Big Ten championships. The time placed her 20th, four places and less than a second shy of advancing to finals.

Francis followed McHugh with a season-best time of 4:42.56 to place 36th, while Sowinski finished in 4:44.92 to place 47th.

All three placings were career bests in the event at the NCAA championships.

“They did a real nice job,” said Penn State head coach Tim Murphy. “It’s a tough meet. You want to be faster than your seed time, and for a lot of people at this meet that’s a tough standard, but they did that. They all moved up from where they were seeded too, so we had some very nice swims to start us off.”

McHugh and Francis will compete in the 400 IM Friday and the 1650 free Saturday, while Sowinski will compete in the 200 butterfly Saturday.

McHugh enters the 400 IM with a 14th-place ranking on the psych sheet with a seed time of 4:06.27 – the current school record.

Last Updated March 17, 2017