Alex Walsh Shares Her Olympic Trials Lineup, With a Surprising Event Missing

American swimmer Alex Walsh is planning a three event lineup at the 2024 US Olympic Trials. One of the world’s most-versatile swimmers, Walsh is scheduled to race the 100 breast, 200 breast, and 200 IM, a widely different schedule than she swam at last year’s World Championship Trials.

She revealed the schedule during a media call on Thursday afternoon.

The schedule notably omits the 400 IM, which she swam and placed 4th in during the 2023 World Championships and a race in which she is the defending NCAA Champion.

At last year’s US Trials for the World Championships, Walsh swam a three event schedule:

  • 200 IM – 2nd, 2:07.89
  • 400 IM – 2nd, 4:34.46
  • 200 free – 8th, 1:58.16

Her lineup this year, along with her rank among Americans in the Olympic Trials qualifying period:

  • 100 breast – 8th, 1:07.70
  • 200 breast – 5th, 2:25.25
  • 200 IM – 2nd, 2:07.63

She would have been the #2 seed in the 400 IM behind Katie Grimes with her 4:34.46 from last year’s World Championships. Teenager Leah Hayes, 4:36.84, and the defending Olympic silver medalist Emma Weyant, 4:37.76, are the next-fastest likely entrants in the meet.

Walsh US Ranks, Olympic Trials Qualifying Period

100 breast 200 breast 200 IM
1 Lilly King – 1:04.75 Kate Douglass – 2:19.30
Kate Douglass – 2:07.05
2 Lydia Jacoby – 1:05.16 Lilly King – 2:20.95
Alex Walsh – 2:07.63
3 Kaitlyn Dobler – 1:05.48 Lydia Jacoby – 2:24.03
Torri Huske – 2:08.47
4 Emma Weber – 1:06.50 Ella Nelson – 2:24.89
Regan Smith – 2:08.48
5 Kate Douglass – 1:06.67 Alex Walsh – 2:25.25
Leah Hayes – 2:10.03
6 Piper Enge – 1:07.27 Kaitlyn Dobler – 2:26.47
Bella Sims – 2:12.15
7 Rachel Bernhardt – 1:07.38 Anna Keating – 2:26.71
Phoebe Bacon – 2:12.18
8 Alex Walsh – 1:07.70 Kaelyn Gridley – 2:26.80
Beata Nelson – 2:12.38

*Omitted Annie Lazor from the 200 breast after her retirement

She has only swum a handful of long course 200 breaststrokes in the last six years, including at the US Open in December. She swam a best time of 1:07.70 in the 100 in January in heavy training. Based on her general abilities and long course and when those races were swum, combined with how fast she’s been in yards, she is expected to go way under both best times at the Olympic Trials.

This event choice aligns with Virginia’s famous ‘swim what excites you’ approach to event lineups that has led to both surprising choices and surprising results for the women’s team. The lineup gives her at least two direct battles with her teammate and training partner Kate Douglass in the 200 breaststroke and 200 IM, where Douglass is the odds-on favorite to win.

While Walsh had a shot at qualifying directly for the 800 free relay via a top-6 finish in the 200 free, not swimming that race at the Olympic Trials doesn’t necessarily end that pursuit: her coach Todd DeSorbo is the head women’s coach for Team USA. With that 800 free relay coming on day 6 of the Olympics, after the 100 breaststroke, in alignment with the 200 breaststroke, and before the 200 IM, there could theoretically be enough data to support her inclusion on the relay if she was on form.

Her teammates Kate Douglass and Gretchen Walsh (her younger sister) have both also discussed their potential lineups. Gretchen Walsh has previously said that she will race the 50 free, 100 free, and 100 fly, while Douglass is deciding from among the 50 free, 100 free, 200 breast, and 200 IM. Walsh says that she will ultimately swim either the 50 free or the 200 IM, but not both.

The Virginia women’s crew will race their final tuneup at the NCAP Elite Qualifier next weekend in Stafford, Virginia.

 

In This Story

126
Leave a Reply

Subscribe
Notify of

126 Comments
newest
oldest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Chris Kadoorie
26 days ago

400 .IM long course is extremely grueling and could mess up other events. 200 IM is what she is primarily after. She was so close to Olympic gold in 2021 in that event. Kate Douglass should win 200 IM at the trials followed by Alex or Tori.

richteller
26 days ago

I listened to a presser today with G and A Walsh, DeSorbo, and Kate. Alex she and DeSorbo decided last August to let the 400IM go at trials. Various reasons and rationales were explored, but basically, she wanted to focus on being sprintier (as noted above), watch her taper, and not deal with the pain of 400IM. For his part, DeSorbo talked some about more of a focus on not just making the team but winning a medal. So I think this has been in the works for a long time, and you have to figure that training on this lineup has been going on for a good time now even if we don’t see it. We’ll see soon!

Flutterfly
27 days ago

I hope this sets Leah up to make the team!

Former swimmer
27 days ago

Love it! She’s taking chances and throwing her hat in the ring and I think she’ll get two of the three.

ZThomas
27 days ago

Im surprised she’s not doing the 4IM and 2 Free but this is a case where she and her coach know more than we do.

Viola Smiles
27 days ago

She is scared of Summer McIntosh in the 400 IM.

ZThomas
Reply to  Viola Smiles
27 days ago

“Scared” is probably not the right word here.

hin qaiyang
Reply to  Viola Smiles
27 days ago

But not scared of her in the 200im? I dont get the logic

Slower Than You
Reply to  Viola Smiles
27 days ago

I don’t think anyone considering racing the 400 IM is “scared” of McIntosh. It’s more of a realistic “we are training for the silver medal” mentality, and maybe that just isn’t a mindset that drives Alex to get better.

HOO love
27 days ago

i hope she enters all events she’s qualified for so she has options in case things don’t go her way

tea rex
Reply to  HOO love
27 days ago

Normally I’d agree. Problem is, the 200 IM final is night 8 of a 9-night meet. Everything else is a warm-up for her.

Sweet Sweet Peter Rosen
27 days ago

Crazy to think of how loaded the women are. Alex Walsh may not make the team. 🤯

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder/co-owner of SwimSwam.com. 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, …

Read More »