Gophers shine at USA National Swim Meet

Published 3:32 pm Monday, July 30, 2018

Nine Gophers took part in the USA Swimming National Championships last week in California. Together, the group set nine personal records and recorded eight top-16 finishes.

The Gopher breaststroke trio of Max McHugh, Lindsey (Horejsi) Kozelsky and recent alum Conner McHugh made waves at the national meet. The three Gophers reached the finals on three consecutive nights in Irvine.

McHugh broke two personal records on his way to grabbing an 18 and under National Championship in the 50-meter breaststroke. McHugh finished 17th overall in the event with a time of 27.66. Additionally, the freshman finished 14th in the 100-meter breaststroke and 25th in the 200-meter breaststroke.

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Kozelsky exceeded Mac McHugh’s record-breaking endeavor, establishing three personal records of her own throughout the meet. Kozelsky secured her best finish at nationals in the 50-meter breaststroke. After setting a personal best of 30.55 in the preliminaries, Kozelsky earned a fifth-place finish in the finals in 30.87. Kozelsky rounded out her national championships with a 12th-place finish in the 200-meter breaststroke and a 14th-place finish in the 100-meter breaststroke.

Gopher alum McHugh’s highest finish at nationals came in the 50-meter breaststroke. McHugh set a personal record in the event in the preliminaries and followed up that performance with a 12th-place finish in the finals in 27.80. Notably, McHugh shared the pool in the 100-meter breaststroke with his brother Max. In the race, Conner bettered Max by one one-hundredth of a second, finishing 13th in 1:01.35.

Bowen Becker continued the Gopher sprinting success in the 50-meter freestyle. The school record holder in the 50 free gave himself two chances to set a new record after qualifying for the finals on Sunday. Becker finished 16th in a time of 22.68, just shy of his own long course record of 22.23.

Chantal Nack set two personal records at nationals. Competing in the 200-meter and 400-meter freestyle Nack set personal best times of 2:01.07 and 4:15.71 respectively. Cale Berkoff set a lifetime best in the 200-meter backstroke, touching in 2:04.87.

Tevyn Waddell, Matthew Thomas and Nick Saulnier all represented the Gophers in preliminary races swimming against top American talent in Irvine.