Disclaimer: BlueSeventy Swim of the Week is not meant to be a conclusive selection of the best overall swim of the week, but rather one Featured Swim to be explored in deeper detail. The BlueSeventy Swim is an opportunity to take a closer look at the context of one of the many fast swims this week, perhaps a swim that slipped through the cracks as others grabbed the headlines, or a race we didn’t get to examine as closely in the flood of weekly meets.
Alex Walsh has been a force on the club scene for several years. It only took her one season to do the same at the high school level.
The Harpeth Hall freshman crushed four state titles at the Tennessee High School State Championships last weekend, breaking three state records in the process.
Walsh opened the meet with back-to-back state titles in the first two events. Her 24.47 backstroke split on the 200 medley relay was the fastest in the field by well over a second, and she staked her team to a massive lead that culminated in a 4.4 second win. The relay’s 1:41.84 was two tenths off a state record and just over a second off the national independent high school record. The relay features two freshmen, a sophomore and a junior and should return to challenge the record next year.
In the very next event, Walsh went 1:45.24 to win the 200 freestyle. Showing no fatigue with back-to-back swims, Walsh was 26.40 over the final 50 yards to hold off tough senior Erica Laning, who was just a tenth behind at the 150-mark. Walsh’s time set a new state record, wiping out the old mark set by current USC Trojan Tatum Wade.
The second day of the meet, Walsh went 2-for-2 on state records. Her 52.80 blew out the 100 back field by more than three seconds and wasn’t even a lifetime-best. She also anchored the state champion 400 free relay in 48.26, helping Harpeth Hall set a new state record at 3:22.01. Prior to the state meet, Walsh’s career-best 100 free time (according to USA Swimming’s database) was 48.90.
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