Alex Walsh Breaks 200 Breaststroke Age Group Record by Over 1 Second


  • March 2nd-4th 2018
  • Nashville Aquatic Club, Nashville, Tennessee
  • 25y (SCY) course
  • Live results

Not to be out-done by her younger sister Gretchen, who broke a National Age Group Record in the 50 free on Saturday, 16-year old Nashville Aquatic Club swimmer Alex Walsh crushed the National Age Group Record in the 200 breaststroke on Sunday by more than a second.

Walsh swam a 2:06.45, which broke Zoe Bartel‘s National Age Group Record of 2:07.73 set in 2016. Walsh now ranks inside of the top 25 for all-time fastest performers in the event, checking in at 24th (15th among just Americans).

Walsh’s previous best time was a 2:08.85 done at this meet last year when she was still 14. That time wasn’t a National Age Group Record, but she does hold the 11-12 record in 2:15.64 from 2014.

Alex Walsh now holds National Age Group Records in backstroke, breaststroke, and IM events. That includes the 15-16 100 breaststroke record, which she owns with a 58.19 set late last year.

Walsh’s teammate Ella Nelson took 2nd in 2:09.81, which is also her best time. She now ranks 11th all-time in 15-16 history.

Splits Comparison:

Zoe Bartel(2016)  29.43  32.47  32.73  33.10 2:07.73
Alex Walsh (2018) 29.39 31.96 32.49 32.61 2:06.45


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3 years ago

Wow these Walsh girls are crazy fast!!

JP input too short
Reply to  Hswimmer
3 years ago

Somebody introduce them to the Foster boys!

Reply to  JP input too short
3 years ago

oh yeah – those 2 swimming families promise a lot

3 years ago

Australia has the Campbell sisters, America has the Walsh sisters

Reply to  PVSFree
3 years ago

Waiting for the day when the Campbell and Walsh sisters line up for a 50 free shootout.

Maybe the 2019 WCs or Tokyo 2020.

3 years ago

Not to be a negative Nancy but I’d love to see the statistics regarding all of these young age groupers doing world class times at such young ages. Seems to me that this is not going to translate to more world records and gold medals. Perhaps I’m wrong but I am skeptical of 14 and 15 year olds going this fast this young. I’ve been in this sport for nearly 50 years and I’ve never seen a 14-15 year old (other than Coughlin and Phelps) break NAGs and be in the sport ten years later and getting faster. Seems to me that there’s too much emphasis by AG Coaches to get kids to swim sort fast at younger and younger… Read more »

Reply to  Snarky
3 years ago

This sentiment is probably more applicable to 9-10 NAGs. Kids that are breaking 15-16 NAGs are *already* doing internationally relevant “adult” times.
Dressel went :48 LC 100 free as a 16 yr old! He didn’t have to get that much faster to make an Olympic team (indeed, ~48.5 made Team USA in 2016). So the percentage of 15-16 NAG Record setters to have notable careers is probably quite high.

Reply to  Swimgeek
3 years ago

Well put Swimgeek.

science geek
Reply to  Snarky
3 years ago

If you were talking about 9-10 or 11-12 year olds I’d say you have a point but Alex is 16 and already at the cusp and Gretchen seems to be exploding at the perfect time, she wasn’t breaking records at 12.

Benedict Arnold Schwarzenegger
Reply to  Snarky
3 years ago

Well said. As a coach, I know that the best way to get my kids to swim faster when they’re older is to make them slower when they are younger. My club could have broken 10+ NAG records by now, but I’m very good at pinpointing when a swimmer of mine is about to break out and then drastically changing their technique to something slower and less natural until they age up. Our motto is to avoid NAGs at all costs.

The parents hate me for it now, but they’ll be grateful years down the road when their child goes from a mediocre age group swimmer to a decidedly average high schooler.

Reply to  Benedict Arnold Schwarzenegger
3 years ago

I was a very mediocre age group swimmers and decidedly average high school swimmer for my day and age. My best 100 yard breaststroke was before my 15th birthday and I almost swim a time as fast as an 18 year old. I don’t think you have to stop swimmers progress. I knew girls that swam 36 50 yard breaststrokes in 1969 at 12 years old which is similar to swimming 32 or 33 yard breaststrokes at 12 now, One girl went to the Olympic trials in 1972 and other girl just swam high school and novice swimming.

Benedict Arnold Schwarzenegger
Reply to  anonymous
3 years ago

Yes but if you go too fast too young, you use up your natural speed and get stuck in an adulthood of lethargy

Peter Picard
Reply to  Snarky
3 years ago

The kids are alright…they are faster than kids were 50 years ago; they are the future, and the future looks pretty good!

Reply to  Snarky
3 years ago

Amanda Beard set the American Record and won Silver in both the 100 & 200 BR at the 1996 Olympics. She had a long career competing all the way up to the 2012 Trials.

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder of He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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