Competitor Coach of the Month is a recurring SwimSwam feature shedding light on a U.S.-based coach who has risen above the competition. As with any item of recognition, Competitor Coach of the Month is a subjective exercise meant to highlight one coach whose work holds noteworthy context – perhaps a coach who was clearly in the limelight, or one whose work fell through the cracks a bit more among other stories. If your favorite coach wasn’t selected, feel free to respectfully recognize them in our comment section.
The American team of juniors had a dominant showing at Junior Pan Pacs, winning 27 of 35 golds medals and more than half of all medals awarded. Nashville Aquatic Club swimmers accounted for 9 total medals, 7 of them gold.
John Morse and Doug Wharam (listed as coaches of record for all four NAC swimmers on the team) led all coaches with four athletes on the Junior Pan Pacs squad, and all four made A finals appearances.
Gretchen Walsh was perhaps the individual star of the entire meet, winning five gold medals and a silver over the four-day meet. Her medals included wins in the mixed medley relay (where she split a blistering 53.78 on freestyle), the 100 free (a meet record 54.47), the women’s 4×200 free relay (1:59.72 split), the women’s 4×100 free relay (54.92 leading off) and the women’s medley relay (54.7 on freestyle). She was also second in the 50 free (25.57) and about two tenths out of gold.
Older sister Alex Walsh won two golds. She was 2:12.06 to win the 200 IM by nearly three full seconds, and also split 54.92 on the 4×100 free relay. In fact, the two Walsh sisters had identical splits on that winning relay. Walsh was also 9th in the 100 back, but her finals time (1:00.23) would have earned bronze without the rules limiting each nation to only two A finalists.
Ella Nelson chipped in a silver medal in the 200 breast, going 2:27.83 and coming up within a half-second of gold. And while Allie Raab didn’t win any medals, she was an A finalist in three events and near the medal finishes in all three. Raab was 4th in the 100 breast (1:08.83 and three tenths out of bronze), 4th in the 200 IM (2:15.53 and six tenths out of bronze) and 5th in the 200 breast (2:31.41), while swimming the 200 IM and 200 breast in a tough double on the meet’s final night.
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