There have been two men’s breaststroke events so far at the 2014 U.S. National Championships, and twice in prelims the U.S. Open Record, meaning the fastest swim ever on American soil, has gone down.
On Friday morning, University of Penn alum Brendan McHugh represented for the Ivy Leagues and broke the U.S. Open Record in the men’s 50 breaststroke with a 27.10. He swam out of the second-to-last heat, and the time stood up to Kevin Cordes, who broke the same record over 200 meters earlier in this meet, a heat later.
McHugh, who is representing the Greater Philadelphia Aquatic Club at this meet, is part of a growing class of male breaststrokers who were solid in college, and as post grads have been able to make breakthroughs. SwimSwam’s Jared Anderson, who also made the A-Final in the 50 breaststroke, falls into that same category, as does Brad Craig, who was the fastest American in the 100 breaststroke in 2014 coming into this meet.
McHugh’s previous best in the 50 breaststroke was a 28.23; in 2012, he swam a 1:01.04 in the 100 breaststroke, and if he can drop a similar amount in the 100 as he did in the 50, just over a full second, he’s got a very good chance at making the Pan Pacs team in that event and possibly even breaking a minute.
That broke the old Championships Record and U.S. Open Record set by Kevin Steel in 27.26 at last year’s meet. Steel didn’t swim the event on Friday. The American Record is a 26.86 done by Mark Gangloff at Worlds in Rome in 2009.
Full event results available here.