McHugh and Nickal earn top PSU honors

UNIVERSITY PARK — Penn State Athletics has announced its Female and Male Student-Athletes of the Year, with NCAA champions Ally McHugh and Bo Nickal earning the honors for the highly successful 2018-19 academic year.

McHugh is the second member of the women’s swimming and diving program to earn Female Student-Athlete of the Year, joining Fran McDermid, who was the recipient in 1991-92 and 1992-93. Nickal becomes the seventh Nittany Lion wrestler to earn Male Student-Athlete of the Year, a total of nine times, with Zain Retherford in 2015-16 and 2016-17 the last wrestling honoree.

McHugh became the first swimmer in Penn State women’s swimming and diving history to win an NCAA individual championship, capturing the 1650 freestyle at the 2019 NCAA Swimming & Diving Championships. The gold medal was her second NCAA medal overall, as she earned a silver in the same event at the 2018 NCAA Championships. A member of the U.S National team, McHugh also won the women’s 400 IM at the 2018 USA Swimming National Championships.

Nickal established himself as the nation’s top wrestler this season, winning his third consecutive NCAA title (this one at 197) and helping lead the Penn State wrestlers to the 2019 NCAA Championship. Nickal ended his senior season with a perfect 30-0 record, including 18 pins, three technical falls and six majors.

Nickal graduated from Penn State with a 120-3 career record, with 59 pins, 12 techs and 23 majors. In all, 94 of his 120 wins (78.3 percent) were for bonus points.