Disclaimer: Swim of the Week is not meant to be a conclusive selection of the best overall swim of the week, but rather one Featured Swim to be explored in deeper detail. The Swim of the Week is an opportunity to take a closer look at the context of one of the many fast swims this week, perhaps a swim that slipped through the cracks as others grabbed the headlines, or a race we didn’t get to examine as closely in the flood of weekly meets.
It’s been a quiet season for Big Ten swimming. Amid the coronavirus pandemic, the Big Ten didn’t have official competition schedules until the calendar year 2021, and most of the conference’s top talents were major questions marks with no recent results to analyze.
Max McHugh wasted no time in reminding us all how good he is.
Swimming in Minnesota’s first meet of the season, McHugh blasted the nation’s best 100 breast time, and the third-fastest 50 breast relay split of all-time.
The junior was 50.63 in the 100 breast. That’s just tenths off his career-best, a 50.30 from his freshman season at NCAAs. That was back when McHugh was a rookie and hit the fastest time of any NCAA freshman in history. McHugh was lined up to challenge the 50-second barrier as a sophomore, but the post-season was wiped out amid the coronavirus pandemic.
As it is, McHugh is tied as the 4th-fastest performer of all-time in the 100 breast, and could become just the second 49-second breaststroker in history in the next few months.
McHugh also split 22.69 on Minnesota’s medley relay. That’s the third-fastest split of all-time, behind only a 22.58 from Carsten Vissering and a 22.64 from Chuck Katis.