Ellen Walshe, a freshman at Tennessee, swam the sixth-fastest time in the 100 fly (50.24) for a freshman ever. The top five times belong to Maggie MacNeil, who swims for Michigan and was a freshman in the 2018-19 season.
Fastest 100 Fly Performances by Freshmen in NCAA History:
- Maggie MacNeil: 49.59
- Maggie MacNeil: 49.66
- Maggie MacNeil: 49.94
- Maggie MacNeil: 49.97
- Maggie MacNeil: 50.09
- Ellen Walshe: 50.24
Walshe narrowly beat Torri Huske, who swam a 50.30 at the NC State Invite and is tied as the third-fastest freshman with Kate Douglass, who also swam a 50.30 as a freshman in 2019. Olivia Bray is the fifth-fastest to have swum the event as a freshman, followed by Louise Hansson.
Walshe competed in the event on Friday at the Tennessee Invite, earning an NCAA A-cut and event win in the process. Her time is currently the 40th best performance in the event among all grades, and she’s the eighth-fastest swimmer in the event, ever.
She’s also the fastest swimmer in the event as of times entering Friday night, her prelims and finals times both defeating UVA junior Douglass’ 51.51 from earlier in the season, as well as Huske’s time from Friday night. And Walshe, just a few months into her time at Tennessee, secured the second-fastest time ever in the program, behind now-graduated Erika Brown’s 49.38 in 2020.
Walshe competed for Ireland in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics in both the 100-meter fly and 200-meter IM, and she holds the long-course Irish national records for both (59.32 in the 100 fly and 2:12.02 in the 200 IM). She also has the SCM Irish national records in the 50 fly (26.10) and the 100 fly (58.81).
This is Walshe’s first 100 fly of the season, which makes her performances in prelims and finals her first 100 fly performances in short course yards. At other meets, she competed in the 100 and 200 breaststroke, her best times 1:03.49 and 2:14.68, respectively, as well as the 200 fly (1:57.86) and 200 IM (2:01.46).
Walshe is part of a recruiting class Swimswam ranked as number two in the country, and is among 16 new swimmers on the Tennessee women’s team.