Swimming

Wisconsin Picks Up BOTR Breaststroker Catherine Hughes (2024)

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Breaststroker Catherine Hughes has announced her verbal commitment to the Wisconsin Badgers, beginning in the fall of 2024. Hughes currently attends McLean High School and swims year-round for Arlington Aquatic Club in Arlington, Virginia. Wisconsin head coach, Yuri Suguiyama, began his coaching career in the Potomac Valley area as well. 

I am extremely excited and honored to announce my verbal commitment to continue my athletic and academic career at the University of Wisconsin. I would like to thank my incredible coaches, family, and teammates for supporting me along this journey. Go badgers!!

Hughes is a breaststroke and IM specialist, and was featured in the “Best of The Rest” breaststroke section of SwimSwam’s 2024 recruit rankings. She recently competed at Winter Juniors – East, where she advanced to finals in both breaststroke events. She won the B-final of the 100 breast in a personal best time of 1:01.61, and took 11th in the 200 breast with a 2:14.61. Her high school team, McLean, was the runner-up team at the 2022 VHSL Class 6 State Championships. Individually, she won both the 100 breast (1:02.06) and 200 IM (2:01.55) at that meet. 

Top SCY Times:

50 breast – 28.18 (relay split)
100 breast – 1:01.61
200 breast – 2:12.50
200 IM – 2:01.55

This summer, Hughes competed at the 2022 NCSA Summer Swimming Championships, where she recorded two individual  first place finishes. She won the 50m breast in a personal best time of 32.87, followed by a win in the 100m breast in a best time of 1:11.40. Her 100 breast was just under a 5 second improvement from where she was at in 2021. 

Wisconsin finished 4th at last season’s Big Ten Championships, only 15 points behind 3rd-place Indiana. Hughes’ current best time in the 100 breast would have landed her just outside the B-final at last year’s meet, while her 200 breast would have put her comfortably inside the B-final. 

Wisconsin’s top breaststroker last year was Jenna Silvestri, who placed 10th in the 100 breast (59.96) and 7th in the 200 breast (2:09.24) at last year’s conference meet. Silvestri has now graduated, meaning the breaststroke squad this year is led by senior Elizabeth Moore, who has been as fast as 1:00.73 in the 100 and 2:10.50 in the 200. Moore had a breakthrough meet at the Minnesota Invite as she dropped 2 seconds in both the 100 and 200, which will likely up Wisconsin’s credibility with future breaststroke recruits. Freshman Hazal Ozkan follows Moore, having swum a 1:01.15 and 2:10.50 at the Minnesota Invite. Hughes will overlap with Ozkan for two years in Madison.

Hughes joins Illinois native Bridget McGann, Michigan native Stella Chapman, and Wisconsin native Maggie Wanezek in the Badgers’ class of 2028. Wanezek, a backstroker, was featured as the #5-ranked recruit in SwimSwam’s 2024 recruit rankings, while McGann was also featured in the “Best of the Rest” section for breaststroke. Chapman is also a backstroker.

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