Competitor Coach of the Month is a recurring SwimSwam feature shedding light on a U.S.-based coach who has risen above the competition. As with any item of recognition, Competitor Coach of the Month is a subjective exercise meant to highlight one coach whose work holds noteworthy context – perhaps a coach who was clearly in the limelight, or one whose work fell through the cracks a bit more among other stories. If your favorite coach wasn’t selected, feel free to respectfully recognize them in our comment section.
Wisconsin Aquatics put up seven different swims ranked in the top 11 nationally for the month of May – and that doesn’t even include two more current freshman Phoebe Bacon, who is technically unattached but coming off her rookie season with Suguiyama’s Badgers.
Penn State alum Ally McHugh moved to Wisconsin after her graduation and now competes for Wisconsin Aquatics. She hit the best time of any American in the 1500 free for the month of May, going 15:59.54 at the Pro Swim Series in Indianapolis. That time sits #2 among Americans this entire season, behind only Katie Ledecky.
She also hit key swims of 8:26.24 in the 800 free (#2 behind Ledecky among Americans in the month of May and #3 for the season), 4:09.59 in the 400 free (#5 among Americans in the month of May and #8 for the season), and 4:40.89 in the 400 IM (#5 among Americans for May).
Wisconsin alum Beata Nelson had three lifetime-best swims in May. Her 58.37 in the 100 fly took four-tenths off her best time, sitting 6th among Americans for the month of May. She dropped a full second to go 54.74 in the 100 free (11th among Ameicans for May), and her 2:13.01 in the 200 IM was a best time by three-tenths and ranks her #7 among Americans this month.
Then there’s Bacon, who leads all U.S. women in the 200 backstroke this month, courtesy of a 2:06.84 from the Indy Pro Swim Series. That was a massive time drop of nearly two full seconds for the 18-year-old Bacon.
She also went 59.62 in the 100 back – not a career-best, but fast enough to rank #7 among U.S. women for the month of May.
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