Gretchen Walsh Breaks Own NCAA, American, and US Open Record With 20.57 50 Free




  • NCAA Record: 20.77, Gretchen Walsh (Virginia) – 2024
  • ACC Record: 20.77, Gretchen Walsh (Virginia) – 2024
  • ACC Championship Record: 20.77, Gretchen Walsh (Virginia) – 2024
  • NCAA ‘A’ Cut: 21.63
  • 2023 NCAA Invite Time: 22.15

Top 8:

  1. Gretchen Walsh — 20.57
  2. Jasmine Nocentini — 21.13
  3. Katharine Berkoff — 21.23
  4. Christiana Regenauer — 21.46
  5. Julia Dennis — 21.74
  6. Gabi Albiero — 21.77
  7. Maxine Parker — 21.81
  8. Sophie Yendell — 21.83

After breaking the American, NCAA, and US Open record in prelims with a 20.77, Virginia’s Gretchen Walsh swam even faster tonight in a 20.57 to break her own records.

Walsh now holds four of the top five fastest 50 freestyle performances ever as Maggie MacNeil was the previous NCAA record holder as she swam a 20.79 at 2023 NCAAs.

Top 5 50 Free Performances All-Time

  1. Gretchen Walsh, Virginia – 20.57 (2024
  2. Gretchen Walsh, Virginia – 20.77 (2024)
  3. Gretchen Walsh, Virginia – 20.79 (2023)/Maggie MacNeil, LSU – 20.79 (2023)
  4. Gretchen Walsh, Virginia – 20.83 (2023)

Notably, earlier tonight, Walsh swam the fastest 50 freestyle split ever as she swam a 19.95 flying start to become the first woman under the 20 second mark ever.

Like this morning, Walsh was the last one off of the blocks in the 50 freestyle during finals tonight as she had a reaction time of 0.76 (she had a reaction time of 0.75 this morning). Her underwater and breakout pulled her ahead as she flipped first at the 25 mark in a 10.05 and she closed in a 10.52. Walsh was only one of two swimmers under 11 seconds coming home as Katharine Berkoff came home in a 10.88.

Here’s the race video, courtesy of UVA Swimming:

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1 month ago

SwimSwam Swimulator Realtime Converter says

:20.57 SCY is equivalent to :23.49 LCM for a woman (I used age 21 if that is correct)
Sjostrom’s current World Record: :23.61.


Reply to  mds
1 month ago

GW is really fast underwater, she won’t go 23.4 LCM, not yet anyway

Pan Fan
Reply to  saltie
1 month ago

She will not go 23.4 LCM ever!

I’ll eat my hat and shorts if that happens.

Go Girl
Reply to  Pan Fan
1 month ago

Better start boiling, bestie

Reply to  Go Girl
1 month ago

You boil goggles, but the best way to eat a hat is deep fried.

Reply to  Pan Fan
1 month ago

Can we hold you to that?

1 month ago

Need a live look-in at Maggie McNeill’s RBF….

Michael Schwartz
1 month ago

I…don’t know what to say…I mean, I know what my reaction was, but I’m pretty sure my comment would get blocked if I tried posting what went through my mind.

1 month ago

Not enough according to Amy van Dyken

Pan Fan
Reply to  Swimfan27
1 month ago

Amy Van Dyken is …..

Reply to  Pan Fan
1 month ago

The first woman to break :22.00, 30 years ago at :21.77 winning NCAA for Colorado State.

Reply to  mds
1 month ago

Leigh Ann Fetter for Texas was the first woman to break :22 – in 1990

Reply to  swimgeek
1 month ago

You are right, swimgeek. My error.

:21.92, for Leigh Ann, in 1990, with Amy dropping it to :21.77 in 1994, and that lasting till Maritza Correia McClendon swam :21.69 in 2002.

Didn’t rely on my memory this time, reviewed with USA Swimming first.

Sapiens Ursus
Reply to  Swimfan27
1 month ago

It only makes sense as a troll job. If one were totally clueless you’d thing they’d fixate even more on the objectice metric of the clock, e.g seeing someone pull a body length lead on their 50 relay leg, you’d think you glance at the data and call it out, or praise a record breaking swim…

The condescension is just too much on top of that

William Skinner
1 month ago

Go Gretchen! You Rock! She is on absolute fire this season. She said she wants 3 NCAA records this season individually. I think she could get them: 50 Free, 100 Free, 100 Fly.

Reply to  William Skinner
1 month ago

How much longer ’til the first woman goes 19.99?
Gotta happen!

About Anya Pelshaw

Anya Pelshaw

Anya has been with SwimSwam since June 2021 as both a writer and social media coordinator. She was in attendance at the 2022 and 2023 Women's NCAA Championships writing and doing social media for SwimSwam. Currently, Anya is pursuing her B.A. in Economics and a minor in Government & Law at …

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