Gretchen Walsh Climbs to #11 All-Time in US History in 50 LCM Free


Nashville Aquatic Club swimmer Gretchen Walsh, who doesn’t turn 18 until January, is now the 2nd-ranked American 17-18 in history in the 50 free in long course.

She swam a 24.65 in the timed-final 50 free on Friday morning, which shaves .06 seconds off her previous lifetime best.

That improves her standing as the fastest 17-year old in the history of the event and the 2nd-fastest 17-18 behind Olympic champion Simone Manuel, who posted a 24.56 in the summer of 2014 after her senior year of high school.

The swim also now makes Walsh the 11th-fastest all-time performer at any age. Of those 10 swimmers ahead of her, only 5 are currently active, and of those 5 active, only 4 of those swims have been done in the last 6 years.

Previously, Walsh had been the 15th-best performer in the history of the event. With the drop, she surpasses, Olivia Smoliga, Dana Vollmer, and one of the most decorated female Olympians in history Natalie Coughlin.

All-Time US Rankings, Women’s 50 LCM Free, All Ages:

  1. Simone Manuel – 23.97
  2. Dara Torres – 24.07
  3. Amanda Weir – 24.23
  4. Abbey Weitzeil – 24.28
  5. Madison Kennedy – 24.39
  6. Jessica Hardy – 24.48
  7. Lara Jackson – 24.50
  8. Erika Brown – 24.57
  9. Kara Lynn Joyce – 24.59
  10. Ivy Martin – 24.62
  11. Gretchen Walsh – 24.65

In the process, she breaks her own 17-18 Southeastern Swimming LSC Record in the event. Erika Brown still holds the open-age LSC Record with a 24.57 set earlier this year.

Walsh, a senior in high school, signed her National Letter of Intent this week, formally committing her to swim at the University of Virginia next season. She is a member of the US National Team along with her older sister Alex, who is currently a freshman at Virginia and swimming at the Richmond site of the US Open.

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OG Prodigy
2 years ago

Where did she do this at? That’s blazing

Reply to  OG Prodigy
2 years ago

For real! Trials is gonna be interesting with her, Manuel, and Weitzeil

Last edited 2 years ago by Swimmer
Reply to  Swimmer
2 years ago

And Erika Brown

Reply to  ZanBai
2 years ago

Yea Erika “Downtown” Brown gonna shock em all…she gonna blow em off the start and first 15 meters and then they all gonna be slipping water spinning and athrashin tryin ta catcher. That Vol has girl power!!!!

Reply to  Swimmer
2 years ago

Correction, gonna be interesting with Weitzeil, Brown and Walsh for that #2 spot.

OG Prodigy
Reply to  OG Prodigy
2 years ago

Alabama….got it. Poor computer, so many tabs up. Such a good problem to have all this swimming going on, thanks for the coverage SwimSwam!

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Braden Keith

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

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