Gretchen Walsh Explains How Weightroom Gains Lead to Speed in the Pool


Reported by Yanyan Li and Robert Gibbs.

100 Fly (Unsuited)

Remember when we said that the women’s 100 fly at NCAAs would be a four-woman race between Claire CurzanTorri HuskeKate Douglass, and Maggie MacNeil? Well, we were wrong. Because Gretchen Walsh just dropped a 50.53 100 fly in a practice suit today, overtaking MacNeil’s mark of 50.84 to become the fastest woman ever unsuited in the event. In addition, she is also the second woman to crack the 51-second barrier unsuited, as MacNeil was the first two weeks ago.

Walsh’s time is a personal best by over a second, beating out her old mark of 51.73 from December 2020. It also would have been fast enough to place fourth at last year’s NCAA Championship meet.

Walsh vs. MacNeil, Comparative Splits:

50m 23.43 23.81
100m 27.10 27.03
Total 50.53 50.84

50 Fly – 21.91 (Relay start)

If there’s one trend we’ve seen accelerating over the last few years of college swimming, it’s that some teams and swimmer don’t need tech suits or taper to drop some jaw-dropping times.

The Virginia Cavalier women have been on the vanguard of that trend, and today Gretchen Walsh popped the fastest fly split ever as Virginia hosted Florida in a dual meet in Charlottesville.

Walsh’s time of 21.91, apparently done in a practice suit, surpasses her teammate Kate Douglass‘ 21.95 split from nearly two years ago as the fastest split of all-time.

Top 10 All-Time Butterfly Splits, Women’s 200 Yard Medley Relay:

  1. Gretchen Walsh, Virginia – 21.91
  2. Kate Douglass, Virginia – 21.95
  3. Kelsi Dahlia, Louisville – 21.96
  4. Alyssa Marsh, Duke – 22.05
  5. Kelsi Dahlia, Louisville – 22.07
  6. Kelsi Dahlia, Louisville – 22.21
  7. Louise Hansson, USC – 22.23
  8. Morgan Scott, Alabama – 22.26
  9. Hellen Moffitt, UNC – 22.29
  10. Sarah Thompson,  Missouri – 22.31

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1 month ago

Will be exciting to see the effects of weights on her strength/endurance. Would like to see her swimming 200 frees to help her LC 100 free. Towards Sub-53 flat start.

1 month ago

Why do the 50 and 100 have an m next to them?

Reply to  Joe
1 month ago

Short for myards

Steve Nolan
Reply to  ScottyJ
1 month ago

I’m mad at how good this comment is.

It is fun it is to say “myards.”

About Coleman Hodges

Coleman Hodges

Coleman started his journey in the water at age 1, and although he actually has no memory of that, something must have stuck. A Missouri native, he joined the Columbia Swim Club at age 9, where he is still remembered for his stylish dragon swim trunks. After giving up on …

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