McHugh, Becker Named to 2021-22 USA Swimming National Team – GopherSports.com

Swimming & Diving | 9/10/2021 5:08:00 PM

MINNEAPOLIS – University of Minnesota Gophers Max McHugh and Bowe Becker have been selected for the 2021-22 U.S. National Team, as was announced by USA Swimming Friday afternoon.

McHugh, a senior and team captain for the Gophers in 2021-22, earned his spot on the roster in the 100-meter breaststroke when he hit a personal best and program record time of 59.57 at the 2021 MNSI Long Course Senior State Championships this past July.

“I am incredibly excited to be named to the National Team,” said McHugh. “Making the team and representing the United States has always been an aspiration of mine, and I’m really looking forward to this upcoming season and the foreseeable future!”

The Sturgeon Bay, Wis. product is coming off of his best collegiate season to-date in 2020-21, where he claimed his first two career NCAA titles in both the 100 and 200 breast events at the 2021 NCAA Championships, as well as a pair of Big Ten Conference titles in the same events. He was unanimously named the Big Ten men’s Swimmer of the Year for the effort, the first unanimous selection since voting tallies were recorded in 2003.

A seven-time All-American, McHugh holds six Minnesota program records, as well as some of the fastest breaststroke times in NCAA history. His 50-yard relay split of 22.40 at the 2021 Big Ten Championships ranks as the fastest in recorded history, and his 100-yard (50.18) and 200-yard (1:49.02) times stand as the fifth and eighth fastest performances, respectively.

McHugh will be looking for a repeat performance at the 2022 NCAA Championships this coming March, as he returns to the Gophers for his senior season.

Becker, who is coming off a 2020 Tokyo Olympic gold medal performance, clinched a spot on the national roster in both of his signature events, the 50m and 100m freestyles. Both spots were earned by the Las Vegas, Nev. native at Wave II of the 2021 U.S. Olympic Swimming Team Trials this past June.

“I am beyond excited to be announced as part of the National Team for USA Swimming,” said Becker. “I’m so grateful that I can continue doing what I love most and also be supported along the way. Go Gophers and go Team USA!”

Most recently, Becker found his way to the top of the Olympic podium at the Tokyo games for his crucial role on the U.S. men’s 4x100m free relay team, along with teammates Caeleb Dressel, Zach Apple and Blake Pieroni. His third-leg split of 47.44 ranked as the third fastest of the foursome, but more importantly staved off the gaining opposition to ensure Apple the lead heading into the final leg.

Becker’s gold was the second for the Gophers over the past two games, following David Plummer‘s two-medal performance in Rio de Janeiro in 2016. It also marked the fourth U.S. medal which a Gopher has earned over the past three games, with Kelci Bryant earning silver in 2012 on the synchronized three-meter springboard.

A 2019 graduate from Minnesota, Becker is one of the fastest sprinters to ever come through the program, as he holds seven program records for the Maroon and Gold including both the 50 and 100 free events in both LCM and SCY. Over his four seasons, he managed to accumulate eight All-American honors along with three Big Ten titles and three top-four finishes at the NCAA Championships.

The national roster consists of the six athletes with the fastest times in each individual Olympic event, from the combined results of all USA Swimming or FINA sanctioned competitions. Those selected will hold their spot from Sept. 10, 2021 to Sept. 8, 2022.