PHILADELPHIA – One of the most decorated swimmers in Penn history, Brendan McHugh will take his talents to new heights this August when he represents the United States at the 2015 FINA World Championships in Kazan, Russia.
McHugh burst onto the international swimming scene last summer when he set a new U.S. Open record in the 50m breaststroke with his win at the Phillips 66 National Championships in a time of 27.10.
“There is no feeling like earning the ability to represent your country in international competition,” said McHugh – currently the school record holder in the 100y and 200y breaststroke. “Swimming in the World Championships, second only to the Olympics in terms of elite fields, is such an honor.”
McHugh, a 2012 Penn graduate, was 10th at the 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials in the 100m breaststroke and 16th in the 200m.
“My goal for Worlds is to achieve my best time,” McHugh said. “Last year, I was ranked sixth in the world, so setting a new personal best should ensure me a spot in the top eight and a chance to swim in the final. If that happens, I am going to do my best to enjoy the moment, race well, and hopefully come away with a medal.”
While competing for Penn, McHugh was a two-time honorable mention All-American (100 and 200 breaststroke in 2012) and won two Ivy League championships while setting 16 school records as an individual or as a member of a relay. Over his career, he earned seven All-Ivy honors and won the 100y breaststroke in 2009 and 2011. His 2011 championship performance set a school, Ivy League, and Ivy League Championships record.
A two-time Academic All-Ivy selection and 2012 CSCAA Academic All-American who was twice named Philadelphia Inquirer Academic All-Area Performer of the Year, McHugh has been studying law at Washington & Lee University and serving as a volunteer assistant with the swimming team at W&L. A recent graduate of W&L’s law school, McHugh is slated to take a year off to focus his training on the 2016 Olympic Trials and a berth on Team USA for the 2016 Olympics in Rio.
McHugh will be in the pool on August 4tth for the preliminaries, semifinals and final of the 50m breaststroke. Upon conclusion of the World Championships, he will swim at the World Cup events in Moscow and Paris.