Ally McHugh Announces Move to Wisconsin After Graduation (Video)


Reported by Lauren Neidigh.



  1. GOLD: Ally McHugh, Penn State, 15:39.22
  2. SILVER: Molly Kowal, Ohio State, 15:44.61
  3. BRONZE: Mackenzie Padington, Minnesota, 15:47.16
  4. Leah Stevens, Stanford, 15:47.31
  5. Phoebe Hines, Hawaii, 15:50.13
  6. Sierra Schmidt, Michigan, 15:50.19
  7. Kensey McMahon, Alabama, 15:53.18
  8. Cierra Runge, ASU, 15:53.72

Ohio State’s Molly Kowal led through the first 500 in 4:46.28, with Penn State’s Ally McHugh, the 2018 runner-up, close behind. McHugh took over the lead on the next 50 and began to distance herself from the field. Hawaii’s Phoebe Hines pulled even with Kowal for 2nd by the 800 mark.

McHugh remained in the lead through the 1000, splitting a hundredth faster than Minnesota’s Mackenzie Padington (15:47.16) from the early heats at the 950. McHugh came in at 9:31.93 at the 1000. She then started to pick up the pace, beating Padington’s splits from earlier this afternoon. Kowal started to pick it up again to take a lead on Hines, while Stanford’s Leah Stevens pulled herself into the mix for a top 3 finish in a race with Hines.

With a 500 to go it was all Ally McHugh for the win. Kowal had built a body length lead on Hines in the race for 2nd, and Stevens was stroke-for-stroke racing for 3rd. McHugh continued to build her lead through the back end of the race, winning with a 15:39.22. Kowal dropped almost 5 seconds to take 2nd in 15:44.61. Stevens was 3rd in the heat at 15:47.31, but 4th overall as Padington’s time from the afternoon landed her 3rd. Hines took 4th in the heat but 5th overall in 15:50.13.

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Sunny Cal

She doesn’t sound like she was to happy with the coaching changes at Penn State?


there are no coaches at PSU, all horrendous

Sharon Dickson

How about congratulations Ally? That seems to be more in line with the article then bashing the coaches. If you swam at Penn State, then include your name. Its a shame that your experience was not a favorable one, but I doubt highly that your swimming did not progress as a direct result of the coaches at PSU.If you didn’t, then its quite short sighted of you to attack the coaching staff. Four NCAA swimming qualifiers and many many personal bests throughout the 2018-2019 season. More importantly, a coaching staff that cares about their student athletes in and out of the pool. My experience with Penn State swimming has concluded, but good luck to Robbie’s teammates going forward and thank… Read more »

Andrea McHugh

Sharon….thank you:)


Can say that about MSU, IA, Illinois…. stagnant programs for years, same coaches, same clueless athletic departments. It’s a sham at the bottom of the big10.


interesting take. Ally is super talented and I’m sure works equally as hard. Will she be the only ‘pro’ at Wisconsin? Challenging environment within a college set up to be the only one.

Best of luck!

BBQ Billy

Yuri is such a great coach, I suspect Aly won’t be the only one. IMO.


Previous coach there, HC with distance success. Brand new Nat coming on-line and options for starting grad school at a great Univ.. Madison is a fun town and in the summer, it’s an even better place to be. Lots of ticks in the “pro” column.


Smart girl!

About Coleman Hodges

Coleman Hodges

Coleman started his journey in the water at age 1, and although he actually has no memory of that, something must have stuck. A Missouri native, he joined the Columbia Swim Club at age 9, where he is still remembered for his stylish dragon swim trunks. After giving up on …

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