2017 SPEEDO WINTER JUNIOR CHAMPIONSHIPS – EAST
One day after blasting an absurd 21.0 relay split, 14-year-old Gretchen Walsh took home the top qualifying spot in the individual 50 free while breaking a 13-14 National Age Group (NAG) record.
Walsh was 22.26 this morning, cutting almost a half-second off her previous best time. That swim knocks down a NAG record that is just over a year old. Previously, it was held by Kate Douglass at 22.32 from November of 2016. Her NAG record was also swum in prelims. Prior to her swim, the old record had stood for 34 years, held by Dara Torres.
Now Walsh takes over the record, and has another shot tonight, both to lower the mark again and to further prove her 21.0 split. Based on typical reaction times for individual races compared to relay starts, Walsh could be expected to go as fast as 21-mid if her relay split was recorded accurately by the timing system last night.
Douglass herself was third this morning and will compete with Walsh tonight, along with Walsh’s older sister Alex. Those three are the top qualifiers into tonight’s finals in Knoxville.
Here’s a look at the new top 5 in 13-14 age group history:
- Gretchen Walsh, 2017 – 22.26
- Kate Douglass, 2016 – 22.32
- Dara Torres, 1982 – 22.44
- Missy Franklin, 2010 – 22.49
- Lia Neal, 2009/Emily Moreland, 2015/Torri Huske, 2017 – 22.62