2020 U.S. Open – Huntsville Friday AM: Walsh’s 24.6, Held’s 22.3 Highlight


Gretchen Walsh crushed a 24.65 in the 50 free, moving to #2 all-time in the 17-18 age group for USA Swimming history.

Walsh is the national age group record-holder in the 15-16 age group with a 24.71 she set in the summer of 2019. She aged up to the 17-18s for several meets in early 2020, but this appears to be her first long course meters meet as a 17-year-old. She would have joined the top 5 all-time in that age group without even needing a time drop. But Walsh did indeed drop time, cutting 0.07 seconds and checking in at #2 all-time in the age group.

Walsh, at the younger end of the age group, trails only NAG record-holder and Olympic/World champ Simone Manuel, who was 24.56 as an 18-year-old back in 2014.

The 50 freestyles were the highlight of the Friday morning session. Ryan Held won the men’s in 22.35. That’s still half a second off a career-best for Held, who is competing for the New York Athletic Club. But pending the results of other U.S. Open meets this morning, that puts Held easily atop the U.S. ranks for this season. Prior to today, the best time nationally for the 2020-2021 season was a 22.65 from Matt Brownstead.

17-year-old Letitita Sim had a nice swim in the women’s 200 IM. She went 2:16.68 cutting about three seconds off her lifetime-best. Sim will sit just outside the top 100 all-time in USA Swimming’s ranks for the 17-18 age group.

Sim is a Michigan commit who is ranked #16 nationally in the current class of high school seniors.

Other event winners:

  • Alabama’s Kensey McMahon won the 400 free in 4:16.14. That’s still quite a ways off her career-best of 4:10.4, but won the event by more than six seconds.
  • Tennessee’s Marc Hinawi won the men’s version of that event, going 4:01.21. He’s been as fast as 3:51.7 in his career.
  • Tennessee’s men also won the 200 IM. Kayky Marquart Mota went 2:05.21 to win by about a second over 16-year-old Owen McDonald.

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3 months ago

Oh yeah!

Can’t wait for the women’s 100 meter freestyle.

About Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson swam for nearly twenty years. Then, Jared Anderson stopped swimming and started writing about swimming. He's not sick of swimming yet. Swimming might be sick of him, though. Jared was a YMCA and high school swimmer in northern Minnesota, and spent his college years swimming breaststroke and occasionally pretending …

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