Max McHugh

View Current photo via Courtesy of Jack Spitser

Max McHugh is a 4x NCAA Champion, winning the 100 Breast 3x and the 200 Breast once.

In high school, McHugh excelled in swimming, winning numerous YMCA championship titles and Minnesota state titles, including breaking the national public high school record in the 100 breast (51.62) his senior year.

McHugh was ranked #5 on SwimSwam’s Top 20 NCAA Recruits for the class of 2018, and #4 in the Re-rank of that class.

Following in his brother’s footsteps (Conner McHugh, NCAA All-American in the breaststroke events), on May 25, 2017, Max committed to swim for the Minnesota Golden Gophers.

University of Minnesota


At the 2019 NCAA Championships, McHugh garnered 2 individual All-American titles in the 100 and 200 Breaststroke. In the 100, he finished 3rd in 50.52 behind seniors Ian Finnerty and Carsten Vissering. In the 200, McHugh moved up further and touched in 2nd place at 1:49.41, behind senior Andrew Seliskar.

During the summer of his freshman season, McHugh was struck by stray gunfire around 1pm on Saturday, July 28. A bullet penetrated the inside of McHugh’s right leg just above the knee, which he was able to recover from.


At the Big 10 Championships in 2020, McHugh proved he was back to peak form, winning the 100 breast (50.67) and taking 3rd in the 200 breast (1:51.80).

NCAAs would end up being canceled that year due to the COVID-19 Pandemic.


McHugh 1-upped himself at the conference meet, repeating as the 100 breast champion (50.59) and winning the 200 breast (1:50.93).

McHugh didn’t miss a beat in his junior season and captured his first NCAA titles. He won the 100 breast (50.18) and 200 breast (1:49.02) at the NCAA championships.


His senior year, McHugh repeated his Big Ten titles, once again winning the 100 breast (50.67) and 200 breast (1:49.45).

At the NCAA Championships that year, McHugh repeated as NCAA champion in the 100 breast (49.90) and breaking the 50-second barrier for the first time in his career in prelims (49.95). He also placed 2nd in the 200 breast in 1:48.76.


Mac McHugh returned to Minnesota for a 5th year and continued his success with the Gophers. At his final Big Ten Champs, McHugh made it 4-in-a-row in the 100 breast, winning with a 50.80. He also made it 3-in-a-row in the 200 breast, touching in 1:50.20 for the win in his home pool at the University of Minnesota.

McHugh turned around and made it 3-in-a-row at NCAAs in the 100 breast, touching for his final victory in 50.00. He rounded out his meet by touching 3rd in the 200 breast in 1:49.91. McHugh also swam on Minnesota’s 200 medley relay on Day  1 of the meet and split 22.39 on the breaststroke leg. That briefly stood as the fastest split in history until 2 heats later, when ASU’s Leon Marchand split 22.22.

Best Times

Course Event Time Date Meet
scy 100 Breast 49.90 03/25/22 2022 NCAA Championships
Atlanta, Georgia
scy 200 Breast 1:48.76 03/26/22 2022 NCAA Championships
Atlanta, Georgia
lcm 50 Breast 27.25 07/29/21 2021 MN MNSI LC Senior State
Minneapolis, Minnesota
lcm 100 Breast 1:00.81 07/29/22 2022 Summer Nationals
Irvine, California
lcm 200 Breast 2:13.92 07/28/18 2018 Summer Nationals
Irvine, California
Max McHugh (photo: Jack Spitser) Max McHugh (photo: Jack Spitser) Max McHugh (photo: Jack Spitser) Max McHugh (photo: Jack Spitser) Max McHugh (photo: Jack Spitser) Max MxHugh (photo: Jack Spitser) Max McHugh (photo: Jack Spitser)