Max McHugh forever put his name at the top of the Minnesota Gophers record books on Friday night when he won the 100 meter breaststroke at the 2023 NCAA Swimming and Diving Championships in his home pool. McHugh becomes the fourth Gopher in history to win four individual NCAA Championships, and the fourth in school history to three-peat an NCAA Individual Championship. McHugh also won the 2021 and 2022 100 meter breaststroke events. McHugh won the 2021 200 meter breaststroke as well, and will have a chance to try and avenge his second place finish in the event in 2022 on Saturday night to try and become the Gophers fourth ever 5-time NCAA Champion.
McHugh earned his fourth NCAA title in his home pool as the Gophers are hosting the 20233 NCAA Championships at the Jean K Freeman Aquatics Center. He set the best time in the prelims on Friday morning with a season best time of 50.26 seconds to earn the center lane assignment, and then took an entire quarter second off that time winning the title in fifty seconds flat leading coast to coast.
MAX MCHUGH GOES 3 FOR 3— Buttstroke Swimming (@ButtstrokeSwim) March 25, 2023
The @GopherSwimDive grad student becomes just the 7th man EVER to 3-Peat in the 100y Breaststroke at the NCAA Championships with a time of 50.00.#NCAASwimDive pic.twitter.com/hjh3LOSKh9
McHugh is the fourth Gopher in school history to win three consecutive NCAA Championships in one event. Sarah Bacon won the 1-meter springboard diving Championship in 2019, 2021, and 2022 after taking 2020 off for an Olympic year. John Roethlisberger won the men’s All-Around gymnastics Championship from 1991 through 1993 and Fortune Gordien won the men’s discus throw three times from 1946-1948.
McHugh joins Bacon, Roethlisberger, swimmer Steve Jackman (1961-1963) and gymnast Clay Strother (2001 and 2002) as the only Gophers to win four individual NCAA Championships in their career. If McHugh can pull off the double tomorrow night he would tie Bacon, Roethlisberger and Jackman with 5 NCAA titles for the most in school history.
He will need to try and defeat Leon Marchand of Arizona State who defeated McHugh last year and who has the fastest time in the nation this season at 1:47.67 which is nearly three seconds faster than McHugh’s best time this season.